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Re: [Sigia-l] Taking card sorting online

From: Listera (listera_at_rcn.com)
Date: Tue Nov 15 2005 - 02:45:24 EST


Manu Sharma:

> As an aside, it's interesting that more and more UX firms (37Signals,
> Creative Good, Adaptive Path) are launching their own products and services
> these days.

Yes, and this is a double-edged sword.

Success in providing service/consultancy and custom software at the same
time is pretty rare. I should know this, as I built a system and a
service/consultancy around it at the dawn of the web era. After running the
business very profitably for 2-3 years, it became obvious to me that I had
to make a choice between the two. I didn't quite need the software as a
marketing tool and giving equal amount of attention to both was taxing, to
say the least. I happily sold the technology and the company subsequently.

In today's environment where the velocity of change is even greater, beyond
the classic exit strategy of selling the app to a larger unit within 18-24
months, I don't see very many choices.

For example, this:

<http://www.google.com/analytics/>

could pretty much obsolete overnight one of the tools you mention:

<http://www.veen.com/jeff/archives/000799.html>

or this:

<http://www.haveamint.com/>

While they don't target at exactly the same market as the new Google tool,
they are close enough for many to get the short shrift and die on the vine.
(Unless, of course, a Google competitor makes an offer. :-)

Even as the exercise of building the tool may be instructive in various
technologies, running the business side of software is a distraction to the
core business of a design service organization. Doing both sides equally
well takes a toll and usually one or the other side suffers.

----
Ziya

Best Practices,
For when you've run out of your own ideas and context.

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