I am presently working on a pre-1.0 software product at VMware. It’s exciting time: rapid product development based on customer feedback, no support requests from customer issues in production, tremendous freedom as a standalone R&D organization, no legacy and/or compatibility issues to worry about, hopes as high as the Burj Khalifa, etc.
However, as a business, VMware obviously has plans to make revenue from our efforts. As we come close to the release milestone, some of our team members are curios about revenue expectation of our 1.0 product from upper management.
On being asked this question, the manager responsible for our product responded with the following quip:
Focus on creating the best possible customer experience and customer value, and all the money issues will just fall into place.
I think it rings true, whether you are a startup or an established player trying to grow in a new area. It’s that simple.