Build by-products

Two weeks ago I wrote about how makers should build their own "product country" - to focus on one core product while still working on satellite products.

Following a 12 Products in 12 Months challenge without any intention to focus on the ones that get traction is counterproductive. Jumping around from one product idea to another will get you nowhere. Worse, it will hurt your reputation. You will appear as a volatile founder no customer can trust.

Today Sergio Mattei launched yet another product in his own Makerlog country: Cowork. His attitude is another great example of this "build by-products" strategy: Shipcast as a content generator, Makerlog as a B2C community product, and now Cowork to provide a more team-centric collaborative platform that could easily become a B2B business. It's just so damn smart, all products complement each other.

I'm reading Jason Fried's Rework these days, and it echoes what's being said in the section "Sell your by-products":

When you make something, you always make something else. [...] Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities.

It's just the best way to go about making products without losing sight of your core domain. Focus is key. Problems have sub-problems. Ship appropriate solutions to each one, one step at a time.