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Is Building a Software Company Within a Service Firm a Recipe for Failure?

Having been around professional services for the better part of 3 decades now, I’ve seen enough to recognize repetitive patterns. Oftentimes, it’s like watching a train wreck happen over and over again.

While there are many patterns that I could touch on today, I’ll save most for another post (or many, many posts). Today, I want to talk about:

Discovering gaps in the market where your service firm competes. Namely, gaps that can be filled by creating new software solutions.

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll discover gaps if you’re looking and interested in capitalizing on adjacent opportunities. I do this continuously — it’s how I am wired. Surely, many of you are the same.

Where this all falls down is how most service firms attempt to fill the gap. They start building. It starts without fully understanding the consequences. And that is what I want to help avoid here.

Choosing to build their own software to sell to companies is radically different from what most service firms are good at.

In the latest issue of Better Outcomes, my weekly newsletter sharing uncommon insights and growth strategies for service firms, I explore several "gotchas" that can ruin an otherwise profitable service business. And what you should do instead to give both opportunities the best chances for success.


  1. 2

    no. i've done it before. but, it's hard and from what i gather, the success rate is small.

    competing agendas, budgets, missions, cultures... all get in the way. :)

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