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The Ice Cream Fork of Productisation

Did you know that ‘spork’ is a registered trademark? Me neither. So in this post we’re going to refer to the original fork/spoon hybrid from the early 20th century: the venerable ice-cream fork.


Our ice-cream fork has three prongs and a spoon-like bit. Let’s use this as a metaphor for getting started with productisation, the process of turning internal business capability into commercially viable products.

Let’s also use an acronym, ‘SIR’ to remember this:

  • Sense-check — is what you’ve already built wanted by other clients?
  • Insight — what have existing clients told you about their needs/problems?
  • Research — what kind of jobs do potential customers have to be done?

Once you’ve scooped up all of this creamy goodness into the spoon-like bit of your ice-cream fork, then you’re ready to give it a taste. Is it what you were expecting?


What comes next is the exciting part! It involves spending time with your team coming up with potential ways of taking what you’ve already got and making it relevant for new audiences. But that’s a whole other series of posts.

To me, the value of the Ice Cream Fork of Productisation is that it provides a nice balance between researching and building. I’ll leave you with my favourite quote to illustrate what I think is an appropriate balance between the two:

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

This post is Day 60 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com

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