Products vs Solutions
Most companies are in the business of product development. They come up with a cool product, do a bit of market testing and start selling to their customers. In the best case this works out great (e.g. when your CEO is Steve Jobs), more often it doesn’t and sometimes you have to spend a lot of money to convince your customer that black sugar water is really the taste of freedom and refreshment.
The best companies are in the business of solution development. They deeply connect with their customers, understand their problems and develop solutions for their customers’ needs. Sometimes that means they develop a product, often it means that they create a whole suite of services and products. Their products sell themselves — as they clearly address a need and remove a pain point for their customers.
Are you still developing products or are you delivering solutions?