Offbeat

Make a Product. Sell Three.

by . November 23rd, 2014

When you make cheese, you end up with a lot of whey.

That whey can be turned into ricotta or whey butter, and sold as well. Lumbering companies get saw dust as their by-product, which turns into cork or fire kindling. When you create anything, there’s always something extra that you gain out of it which can be just as valuable. You just have to be observant and creative to notice them.

But what if you’re a software company? What’s the by-product of making a new GPS monitor, or project manager? When your product is a set of numbers and letters written to make something new, your by-products are invisible and intangible. You’ve probably never even thought of the possibility that you’ve got them.

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Think of how manufacturing companies get their by-products. They’re gained through the process of getting the final thing and take up space. When creating software, you gain both knowledge and the process itself as you run along. You gain experience and knowledge on the secondary features of whatever you’re making. So what can you get out of these?

Experience and knowledge can be translated into education. Online courses, blog and podcast content, ebooks. Whatever form you wish to translate these into, your knowledge is valuable. And because you’ve got a very intimate perspective on the subject, it shouldn’t be hard to translate it into words.

Using the secondary features and the process has a much more obvious solution when translating it into something that could get you money. Those things are products themselves. Remember after watching your favorite movie, and there’d be this scene that you’d just keep replaying over and over again? That’s a product. Authors make more money by selling the best quotes of their book on mugs and t-shirts. If not, someone else will. Maybe your game has a clock that everyone likes using, or an organization tool that people wish existed in real life? Or maybe they don’t because the idea just never crossed their mind yet.

Think of what you can make with the things you’ve attained along the way. You’ll be surprised.

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