Digital Products and Your Business: What you need to know

A few weeks ago, People of Hamilton approached us for an interview to discuss digital products and how industry around them has grown within Hamilton. The conversation got us thinking: With so many small-to-medium sized businesses popping up in our city, how important is creating a digital product for their success?

Regardless of size, thinking about developing or using a digital product can be an important step in starting a business. Whether it’s a responsive website to engage with your customers, or an internal management software to assist you in managing your company, digital products are transforming the new age of business. Adrian Duyzer has provided his insight on what a digital product is, why they should matter to you and what challenges Hamilton businesses may face.

Q: What is a digital product?

A: The best explanation I’ve seen of what digital products are comes from a fantastic blog post, State of the Digital Nation 2016, by the company Marvelapp:

“A Digital Product is a software enabled product or service that offers some form of utility to a human being.Real world examples: Your favourite car service app such as Uber or Lyft, your mobile banking app with Chase or Barclays, your shoppable H&M or Nike app, the digital dashboard in your Tesla car (lucky you), the interface of your consumer electronics devices such as your phone or smartwatch, the controller app for your Sonos speakers, or an investment bank broker’s trading platform.
Some products and services are made up mostly or entirely of software such as your Facebook messaging or Tinder ‘dating’ app. This is the software that is eating the world as almost all businesses come to be digitized and run on software.”

Q: Do digital products matter to local businesses and their strategies for business success?

A: Yes, no, and maybe. Let me clarify.

Digital products matter to everyone, especially businesses, because they are taking over the world of commerce, communication, society and government — i.e. everything. If you own a business and you’re not hyper-aware of the impact of software on every aspect of what you do, then developing that hyper-awareness should be your urgent priority.

That said, what we do is build digital products. And quite frankly, most local businesses have neither the need nor the budget to have a digital product built.

However, maybe you do own a business that should consider building a digital product. There are three important ingredients: a great idea, a solid business case, and access to at least $100,000 in capital (not all of that $100,000 needs to towards design and development: you should also consider the costs of customer acquisition, marketing and support).

You don’t have to have all of these ingredients in place right away, but you do need a plan for developing them. That’s an area where we can help.

Q: What are the greatest technical challenges Hamilton businesses face in 2016?

A: The overarching challenge faced by all Hamilton businesses is two-fold.

First, they must adequately respond to and mitigate the threats posed by industry-disrupting digital products (consider the plight of local industries like publishing and music: their challenges are now spreading into other fields like real estate and education).

Second, they must move past dealing with threats and towards taking advantage of the opportunities for growth and success that these new digital products provide.

Whether it’s more effectively communicating with your customers, allowing them to order your products and services seamlessly with their mobile phones, or streamlining your business operations, there is truly no limit to the opportunities that digital products make possible.

Read the full article here.

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