We have a project. Can we build a company now?

Note: This was originally published in an other website called THINKsulting which I am phasing out.

Question from HL:

I have a potential project from a prospect. I think there are other people who have the same problem. Can we build a product in parallel as we are delivering the project?

My take:

It is tempting to attempt going after the “two birds in one stone” model. Get the customer to pay for the project but actually build a product out of this rather than just delivering the project. In reality, it’s way more complex than the way it appears on paper.

Delivering a project and building a product are VERY different.  The team that is required to deliver the project will usually be a sub-set of the team that is required to conceptualize, build, market and build the product. If you don’t take care, you will end up with a sub-optimal product with an unhappy customer – meaning you will neither have the product nor the customer.

More than anything, a soul searching question will be:Is “having the project” the reason why I want to build a company or is it because I am passionate about this space?

If it is the former, chances are you are going in the wrong path.

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