Business for engineers lecture series

I’ve often observed a disconnect between engineers or developers, responsible for product development, with the sales and marketing teams tasked with actually promoting the product on the market. In larger companies with departments very focused on their execution, demands from other departments are often met with skepticism or even bad will. “I’ve done all they told me and now they want me to change stuff? Can’t they make up their minds?

This is, in a way, understandable. The point of a larger organisation is to have departments that are focused on a set of tasks, hiding the complexity of those tasks from the other parts of the organisation. Accounting is very complex, yet bills get paid and paycheques credited. Laws and regulations fill up large tomes, yet contracts get signed. And a typical human reaction in this case is to assume that all these tasks are actually simple. Engineers and developers are especially prone to use their engineering problem-solving, “code is law” mindset to dismiss the complexities of product development and sales. As one CTO told me - “The reason for no sales growth is simple. The sales department does not commit to their goals! Had they committed to selling X, they would have sold X.

But, to be blunt - the engineers and developers are wrong, plain and simple. There is no company without sales and there is no sales without adjusting to market needs and wants. If that means changing the product constantly to keep up with market demands, so be it.

This series of workshops was created to help software developers understand the basic foundations of product development, lean development, market positioning and company strategy. It’s of course far from comprehensive, but it has proven useful for us as a starter of company-wide conversations .

Presentations: (links to SlideShare presentations)

  1. Customers and sales

  2. Product conception

  3. Minimum viable product

  4. Value proposition

  5. Core competencies

  6. Company values