“Thinking Product”

The other day, a friend gave his parting presentation titled “Thinking Product!”. One really nice metaphor he used was: Making standard software is, in many ways, like making cognac:

  • First, we try to bring the essence of market demand into the product, along the entire value chain – very much like good cognac brings the essence of the grapes through the distillery.
  • It’s the essence of the market (not just the wishes of one individual customer) that we are trying to realize – very much like no cognac fan is looking for the taste of a grape – that can be achieved by eating the grapes individually (or making custom development, respectively)
  • Eventually, when the time comes, cognac is sold by emotion, not because the company has the best chemical processing equipment. In the same way, we shouldn’t sell the how the software was made but the benefit it brings.

One may like brandy or not, but I do like this example.

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