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Episode 167 - The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Productization (with Eisha Armstrong, Co-founder @ Vecteris & Author "Productize")

Digital Transformation
Product Culture

Episode 167: The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Productization

Eisha Armstrong, Co-founder @ Vecteris & Author "Productize"

7 March 2023

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7 March 2023 Eisha Armstrong head shot

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Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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About the Episode

Eisha Armstrong is a company founder, digital transformation consultant and author of 2021's "Productize", a book that aims to help service-based companies move away from scaling via people and embrace repeatable product revenue. We spoke about some themes from the book, as well as the fear that stops companies from transforming.

A message from this episode's sponsor - Skiplevel

This episode is sponsored by Skiplevel. Do you struggle with communicating with dev teams and understanding technical terminology and concepts? On episode 98, I hosted Irene Yu, founder of Skiplevel, an on-demand training program that helps professionals and teams become more technical in just 5 weeks... All without learning to code. Learn the knowledge and skills you need to better communicate with devs and become more confident in your day-to-day role with the Skiplevel program. You can use referral code OKIP to support this podcast!

Episode highlights:

1. Digital transformation gets you away from "arms and legs"

There's nothing wrong with being a service company, but there are very attractive reasons to productise. Growth, higher margins, higher exit value and getting away from having to add headcount.

2. The three biggest barriers to transformation are fear, fear and fear

It's natural for leaders and employees to feel fear of the unknown or of change. But fear is the enemy of growth. Yes, things could go wrong, but think of what could go right!

3. Transformation should be a full-time job

Productisation has to be done right... it can't be an afterthought. The company needs to devote people and financial support to the effort otherwise it will inevitably fail and you might as well not start.

4. "The more narrow the niche is, the greater the riches"

Service companies can make good money selling to all comers, but product companies necessarily need to niche down. The company likely doesn't have a strong history in ICPs & segmentation but it needs to develop those skills.

5. Productisation is awesome, but life is in the grey

Plenty of companies offer a product/services mix and there is nothing wrong with this. What matters is that you productise thoughtfully & disrupt yourself before getting disrupted by someone else. You need to want to change.

Buy "Productize"

Productize cover

"More and more traditional professional services firms are turning to "productization" as a strategy to grow, improve valuations, and to fend off new digital-first competitors. However, many of them will fail and waste a lot of money in the process. Productize first outlines the "Seven Deadly Productization Mistakes" made when pursuing a product strategy, then provides the blueprint for overcoming each of these missteps. It is designed to be a practical playbook for any leader of a professional services business who wants to successfully accelerate growth."

Check it out on Amazon. You can also check out the book website

Contact Eisha

You can catch up with Eisha on LinkedIn.

Eisha Armstrong and me before the recording