Have you heard of Pluginize yet?

My friend John joined WebDevStudios just a couple months ago and together they announced a new initiative to focus on products. As you know, if you and I have talked about service companies doing products, I've seen it fail way more than it's succeeded. So you'll see that I start my interview with that very question.

The good news is that together they're doing the kinds of things that you have to do to create products from within a service company.

The interview isn't short—we take about 45 minutes to step into all the areas you'd likely want to know about. But every answer highlights why John is clearly the right guy for the job and the passion and excitement he has for the work is undeniable.

Our Pluginize Conversation

Key Takeaways

There are many takeaways from our conversation, but here are the three I would specifically highlight.

First, if you're going to build products while a part of a service company, make sure you have dedicated staff that can't get pulled away for client work. It's so easy to let urgent matters shift attention away from product work, and that ultimately can lead to the failure of the product development effort.

Second, while everyone likes to talk about and focus on the coding of new products, some of the most important work of product development is documentation. From developer docs to end-user tutorials, for products to succeed, you need to focus on creating the wealth of material that will help others use your products.

Lastly, like I mentioned yesterday, marketing is just as important as development when it comes to a product's success. As we spoke of the massive success of the WebDevStudio blog, John expects to spend a good amount of energy working on the Pluginize blog.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.