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Platform vs Product

When it comes to developing software, businesses often face the pivotal decision of choosing between a product and a platform. This decision can have long-lasting impacts on the company’s trajectory and success. Simply put, a product is a standalone piece of software that you sell or offer, while a platform is an ecosystem that enables products to work together or communicate with each other. While products can exist independently or on platforms, the transition from a product to a platform is a nuanced journey. Here are five key considerations to guide your business in making this critical decision and how Red Corner’s expertise can support you in evolving your product into a robust platform.


1. Products Can Become Platforms, But Platforms Can’t Become Products


Starting with a platform before creating a product carries significant risk. Developing a successful product often paves the way for it to evolve into a platform. However, the reverse is not true; platforms cannot be retrofitted into products. From a development standpoint, products generally require less work and investment compared to platforms. If you end up with a product that doesn’t work, the losses are more manageable compared to an unsuccessful platform.


How Red Corner Helps:


We understand the importance of starting small and scaling up at Red Corner. We assist businesses in developing solid, market-ready products that have the potential to evolve into comprehensive platforms. Our ‘CTO As A Service’ model ensures you have the technical leadership to guide you through this transition smoothly, minimizing risks and maximizing growth opportunities.


2. Consider Your Resources


Building a platform from scratch is a resource-intensive endeavour. Your organization might aspire to create a platform eventually, but current resources may only allow for product development. Once a product is successful and generating revenue, you can reinvest in transforming it into a platform.


How Red Corner Helps:


Red Corner provides strategic planning and resource allocation to help you manage your development process efficiently. With our experienced fractional CTOs, we help you prioritize your development efforts, ensuring that you focus on creating a successful product first. Once your product gains traction, we guide you in scaling it into a platform, leveraging the revenue and market presence you’ve built.


3. Understand the Value of a Product vs. a Platform


The value proposition of a product versus a platform varies significantly. A product’s value lies in its features and functionality, while a platform’s value comes from enabling interactions and integrations. Some ideas are best suited as products, while others thrive as platforms.


How Red Corner Helps:


Our team at Red Corner conducts in-depth market and feasibility analyses to help you understand where your idea fits best. We provide insights into whether your solution should be developed as a product or a platform, ensuring that your approach aligns with your business goals and market needs.


4. The Difference in Longevity


While some products have long lifespans, others are designed for short-term use. In contrast, platforms require longevity and deep integration into the business or customer infrastructure. A well-designed platform should be sustainable and adaptable over time.


How Red Corner Helps:


Red Corner’s expertise in software architecture ensures that your platform is built for longevity. We design scalable, flexible platforms that can adapt to changing market demands and technological advancements. Our ongoing support ensures that your platform remains robust and relevant, providing long-term value to your business.


5. Be Mindful of Update Ease and Frequency


Platforms need to be easily updatable and flexible to accommodate continuous improvements. While it’s good practice for all software to be maintainable, this is less critical for products that don’t require frequent updates. If your organization lacks the capacity for constant updates, starting with a product might be more feasible.


How Red Corner Helps:


With Red Corner’s ‘CTO As A Service,’ you gain access to technical leadership that ensures your platform is designed for easy updates and maintenance. We implement best software development practices, ensuring your platform can evolve seamlessly. Our ongoing support helps you manage updates efficiently, keeping your platform cutting-edge and competitive.


Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for Your Business


The decision to develop a product or a platform hinges on your organization’s resources and strategic goals. At Red Corner, expert guidance and support will help you navigate this decision. Our ‘CTO As A Service’ model ensures you have the leadership and expertise to start with a successful product and evolve it into a powerful platform. By choosing Red Corner, you position your business for sustainable growth and long-term success in the competitive software landscape.


Red Corner’s ‘CTO As A Service’ is here to turn your vision into reality. Whether you’re starting with a product or looking to transform it into a platform, we provide the technical leadership and strategic planning needed to make it happen. Let’s embark on this journey together and build a future-proof software ecosystem for your business.

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