When to pick a business model?

Yesterday I asked a question about what people thought the best business model approach for Coach Wizard might be.

One of the really unexpected things to come out of that was people’s desire to play with the product before having (or at least sharing) an opinion.

On the surface, I understand this as the more you can play with a product the more you can understand what it really does and doesn’t do (so you can base your thoughts on reality rather than hype).

But I actually think the two things are, at least initially, completely disconnected.

Even though at the end of the day, I’m a product guy…I actually think in an ideal business, you would identify a market, define the business model, and the combination of those two things would completely define your product.

In my case, I have a core market and product in mind…but I’m not yet set on a business model. This means that I’ll likely have to tweak the product depending on whatever model I do adopt (not really ideal).

I think it’s become common these days to figure out the model after the product has some traction (see Google, Twitter, Foursquare, and Facebook)…or sell out quick and never bother to figure out the model at all (see Instagram, Summify, and Delicious)…but I really think those are more likely exceptions.

I’m interested in building a massive, long-term, business that completely changes the coaching landscape…how I enter the market sets the path for that journey.

So I think it’s actually pretty important to detach what the initial product actually is…and focus on what the actual market is and how best to serve that (then tweak the product to do it).

Am I alone in this thinking?

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

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