I am slowly starting to get into product development again. However, I am doing it in a slightly different manner. I am focused on capabilities-based expansion working on projects adjacent to what I am already doing. Currently, mostly tools for opsZero and software to help my parents with their real estate.
Instead of jumping headfirst I am taking baby steps and creating a process. The first time I tried to do product I was doing it badly and freaked out. A services business and a product business are different beasts. The primary difference is that in services you sell then you build, in product you build then you sell. The freak out happens when you are bootstrapping and you realize you have no cashflow as you are building.
I’ve decided to change my approach. The way to bootstrap a product seems to be to do services to bring in the cash, and use the same system to build your own products. So the products I am building will be “customers” of opsZero. They use opsZero as their development agency and pay for the time at market rate. The approach I am taking here is a separate bank account that is seeded with some initial capital and that account pays opsZero.
My goal with this approach is that it will create focus on a product. If a product is paying market rate then it forces what features need to be developed since it is being withdrawn from the product bank account. On the other hand all income generated from the product belongs to the product bank account.
So how does this function practically?
A key piece of opsZero is an issue syncing tool that maps tickets across multiple providers Jira, Asana and GitHub into Notion and where I get work done. Each product will be a GitHub repo that syncs to this Notion task board. The Operators will track time using Harvest or it is imported using YieldInvest. Once a week an “Internal Invoice” is generated. Ventures pays for it by transferring money from its bank account to opsZero.