Independent Software Vendor (ISV) - The Road I Travelled, Processes Part 3

Continuing on with the saga of Process, originally intended as a single post. Well it grew. This is the third and final segment for Process. I had a goal; it was overcome by evidence. A quick status: The Beloved Product is being tested by The Cohort; your Development Environment has just been updated and reacquainted you wih Entropy. If ever there was an argument that Automation would never overtake the world, Entropy is it.

Every idea, bug and question has been prioritized. The update debacle has just added to that list. To your mind – and training – all of these must be addressed. After hours and hours of reading to better understand what has transpired and endlessly tweaking your code to be perfect – and understandable to you – the notion of perpetual imperfection creeps into your consciousness. A (24) Software Development process might be the ticket. So, wary but happy at last to have resolved all bugs and pushed answers to the silly questions into the User manual, it is delivered into the hands of Dave for the next round of testing. You are unexpectedly energized because all of those ideas and such have led you to realize that there will never be an end to updates and improvements.

While Dave tests, your attention is turned to answering the question of how to deliver the software. Of course it will be through the Internet; then again, how to allow those who purchase it to have full function of the tool and not share it relentlessly with their friends, neighbors, coworkers, nation and even publish their registration key throughout the world! Somehow, the (25) Product Purchase Process by a User must be coordinated with (26) Getting Paid by that somebody making the purchase and (27) The Beloved Product’s behavior. These come in rapid succession and then the question of ‘How Much shall The Beloved Product be sold for?” Thank goodness there is no concept of Inventory because of an online distribution mechanism and you do have (28) a Time and Expense Record of how many lifetimes have been invested into the Beloved Creation. No; $209,643 will not be the price per copy. The value of (29) Market Research makes even more sense. The output goes beyond a Strength, Weakness Opportunity, and Target quadrant chart. Lo and behold, The Beloved Product has Competitors.

Well, not so much competitors as software in the same category – which, to the uninformed is no different than The Beloved Product. The term differentiation doesn’t even come close to describing the gulf of features between Their Offer and The Beloved Product. Their price of $10 per copy is an overcharge in your estimation. It is time to go on the offensive.

The best defense is a great offense.

Where to begin. Maybe there should be (30) Website Content Written to start introducing the whole rationale to potential buyers. This involves using a written language that is understood by people, not machines. Apparently it also requires some sort of Graphics, even making videos. Icons and Product names were tough enough, but this is uncharted territory. After searching the depths of your soul and the souls of those closest to you, it dawns on you: You Must Write. Further reading and understanding what is going on in the mind of the average web user shows that site legitimacy comes not just by content, but Forums, Comments, Reviews, and Product Guarantees together with other website linkages. Oh Goody.

Dave has finished. The testing is finished! No fanfare. The Beloved Product is published into your spanking new website. No Fanfare. You view the (31) Web Statistics. No hits. No Bandwidth restrictions imposed on your website by the webhost. Nothing. No withdrawals from the 20,000 License keys generated; none show as assigned to emails in that wonderful (32) User Tracking database and web listener service. All that time and effort; all that hard experience – and there isn’t much of an organization behind it as the (33) Tax Filings and Forms show. With a grin, you turn down the offer to post signage in the kitchen regarding employee rights. You have no employees; yet. No Customers either.

Direct contact with groups of live people just might be the most fearful thing to an Engineer with a Product of their own invention. This has been avoided at almost all costs; however, you are all-in. At the end of All Beloved Products, it is time for (34) More Learning. This time, about people. You learn the delicate art of engaging people and persuading them that The Beloved Product is vital to the pleasure of their existence. It comes in fits and starts: They are afraid of breaking the sky with The Beloved Product. You discover a need for (35) 24/7 Customer Service, Press Releases, Chats, Product Demos, Webinars. You Grow. You learn Golf; the art of engaging recreation. And thus it goes; Process begets Process.

The major discovery? There is far more at work to bringing The Beloved Product into the marketplace than you imagined; far and away beyond writing code. The Product grows. You grow.

Next: The Systems

Many thanks to My Wife, DonnaLee; My Daughter, Rebecca; and My Son, Nathaniel for their proof reading.

© 2017 James J Hayes

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