What is 'Product'?

Why we'll be thinking more about 'product' and less about just 'websites'

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Shelves of products

From here on out, we'll increasingly refer to your websites and web applications as "products". This is a common theme in the industry, and it helps encourage you to think about not just the end result (the website) but the bigger picture as well.

A website is really just the final step in a process meant to serve the needs of your users in a way that meets the goals of your business, organization, or project. If you're building a site to help coordinate your choir group, you probably don't need to make the distinction but if you're looking to start a business or operate within one, it will help you to start thinking about your sites as "products".

A "Product" is the intersection between solving user needs and creating a sustainable business opportunity. It represents the service or "thing" that is delivered to the user to solve that need.

In the industry, teams are often built around these "products". You will see roles like the "product manager" (who acts as the CEO for a specific product) or "product developer" or "product designer". Dealing with "product" is mostly a jargon-y way of saying "I can build stuff but I also think about how it fits into the business". Businesses tend to appreciate this when it comes to hiring :)

Developers who can see the bigger picture and think about why they are building what they are building are more valuable and effective than those who do not. By now it should be obvious that we want you to think about more than just the code you'll be producing so we'll be talking a bit more about building "products" and less about simply creating "websites" in the lessons ahead.

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