Physical products play a curious role in the context of service design, marketing and delivery. There seems to be surprisingly little thorough discussion about this topic.
Tom Graves has written a brilliant post titled From Product To Service, which significantly adds to the discussion.
I’ve been rambling about this topic here and here.
Stuart Boardman retweeted a link to a blog post by Rob Vens: “Software is not a product“.
In this post, Rob argues that we ought to consider our (hopefully ever improving) process of creating software as the primary product of our work rather than the software itself. In this sense, he argues that software is only a by-product of our work.
Interesting. I exchanged a few more tweets with Stuart in which he observed that “product” does not mean (physical) “good”. Indeed, services are products, too, both in a general sense and in the context of Rob’s blog post.
In my experience, clients still want to buy the results of the software process (e.g. an evolving web shop) rather than the collaborative design process yielding this result. This is despite the fact that software development processes and methods can be the subject of great debate at all phases of the sales and delivery process.
But herein might lie great opportunity: What if we could shift the conversation away from that by-product of our work to that collaborative design process that creates that seemingly auto-evolving web shop?
And maybe there is a chance of actually making this happen, if Laura Colvine (via Jeff Sussna and James Rock) is to believed: “It’s H2H: Human to Human“. (Alright, so I’m quoting this out of context.)
I’m well aware that the above is a tiny step for humankind, but it has been a greater and very enjoyable one for this human. Thank you to all of you who contributed to it.
I know realise that “The process is the product” would have been a better name for this post.