Where is the line?

IT Business
1 Comment

Last night I had a very interesting conversation on where the line is drawn between producing a quality product and maximizing profitability. Believe it or not (software, MSP, IT Solution Provider, SPF) there is a tradeoff between perfection and profitability – the better you try to get your product, the more it costs and less it makes because it diverts money from sales and marketing efforts to make a better product that fewer people will buy.

But where is the line? Let’s for a moment forget the beta culture most of us younger entrepreneurs have brought up in and assume that there is a happy place between shipping shit for money and burning the midnight oil checking all the t’s and dotting the i’s.

The question is: Where is the line and how do you find it?

I don’t have an answer, earlier in my career when I was very close to the product development and support I spent far more time focusing on perfection but we made a lot less money. I worked very hard and we grew slowly and patiently – but we didn’t take it to that “next level” until I focused on the product distribution and growing the scale of what we do here. In the end, we’re able to deliver a product that has a higher quality and reliability with a better profit margin.

One piece of advice I have for people that are just starting up is to focus on building the business, not the products. You can always hire amazing people and build amazing things – once you’ve got the money. The line between where you can be proud of your solution and run a profitable business – that I don’t know. I’m proud of what we’ve build and what we deliver but I also know at least a dozen holes that we’re working on and I have another 200 that I haven’t even thought of yet. But by the time I perfect ExchangeDefender there won’t be any SPAM around to block anymore 🙂

One Response to Where is the line?

  1. Scott says:

    Yes Vlad your correct, the line between profitability and a better product is extra fine. I belive thats why there’s product managers, hopefully, to strike a balanace if there good out what they do. No there’s not magic formula to calaulate, however there does need to be someone who’s not in development, nor marketing, watching and saying STOP! I’ve had enough of all the winning and complaining where done! Just look at Microsoft. It seems that every other OS has issues. Windows 95 (Yes I know I still remember 0’s and 1’s) Windows ME, Windows Vista. Althought I will say personally, I think Vista rocks. You look at their revenue and notice that the’ve seem to find a responable balance, or have they?

Comments are closed.