product creation

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Picking a Product to Build and Sell

A few years ago, I came up with this great idea. Build a product that I could sell, so that I wouldn’t have to do traveling consulting every week. The idea behind it was simple. Build something one time, and sell it to a lot of companies. Then all I’d have to do is sit back and collect the profits, and then start making something new. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I’ll talk about the creation process some other time, but right now, I’ll focus on current events. I completed my product about 1 year ago, and I thought the hard work was over. However, what I didn’t take into account is just how much work (and potentially cash) it takes to get a product launched. Right now, all of my free time is spent coming up with ways to drum up some interest in Paper Street Enterprises. I thought it would be a no brainer, I’ve been doing SAP for going on 14 years, I’m really good at what I do, how could people not want to work with me. Well, it’s pretty easy, they don’t know me. I’ve spent all of my time designing the product, and very little of that time showing I’m an expert. Sure I can fall back on the companies I’ve consulted for, but as it turns out, most of them are no longer interested in the product I thought everyone would want. So… my take away from this, before you spend days, weeks, months or even years designing and developing something, make sure you have someone that wants to buy it from you. I thought Rapier would be the sort of thing that everyone would want, and they still might, but the fact is, no one asked for it. I made the make of assuming they wanted it or needed it. Going forward, I’m focusing on known items that people want. I start simple. Every time I hear a client say, “I wish SAP did this”, or “I can’t believe SAP doesn’t provide that”, I quickly add it to my list of development ideas, and move it to the top of the list. Why? because I know that at least one company is interested in using it (maybe not buying it, but you need to start somewhere). So learn from my mistake… make sure you have a market before you build a product. Good luck.