Startup Secrets Sandbox
Startup Secrets Sandbox
EVALUATE the Solution

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Whole Product

A “whole product” is everything required in your product to ensure your target customers have a compelling reason to buy your solution. It’s what enables the product to fully address their need. For example your smart phone is only a whole product if it has wireless connectivity and Apps to make it smart. The phone hardware itself is just part of the solution. It’s easy to take this for granted, but important not to do so!
In a trivial B2C example, when you sell a new battery-operated toy, you might include the batteries with it, so a child can use and enjoy it on opening.
(Imagine the incomplete product of a toy gift and the child opening it and then asking the parent to find batteries, them scrambling around the house only to find they don’t have the right size of battery and the child ending up screaming in frustration 😫)
In a vital B2C example, for Tesla, the battery became such an essential and integral part of their whole product that it became a
part of their offering.
(Tesla then in turn became Dependent—as in the D of
—on the constituent parts of their batteries, such as Lithium, a scarce raw material.)
Don’t underestimate the importance of your whole product. It might incorporate many things you could easily overlook such as:
Data needed to run your AI/ML algorithm for learning and training
Workflows that incorporate other people’s services such as verification and sign on
Compliance such as KYC of SOC2 for certain products or industries
And of course feature/functionality such as capabilities that are someone else’s CORE strength


Tesla is a great example of a company with a lot of DEBT. What can you see might be their
External factors?
Barriers to entry, backlash and burden as they have scaled?
Timing issues?
Consider these and brainstorm what you can see. Then look for some pointers here:

See the Wikipedia definition of whole product
. It’s an adaptation of the total product concept developed by , a professor at Harvard Business School.
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