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I have been in a technical leadership role with a product (15yrs old) for 9+ yrs. I'm presently leading ~10 devs and report to a senior manager. We don't have clear mgmt and engg leadership tracks, so I fill in a lot of shoes currently. Over the yrs there have been always interest from research group to commercialize our product. Our owner always thought that it was too customized for our environment and didn't think it could be productized. Recently executive mgmt has decided on commercializing it. Owner isn't interested in this and think that it has very little chance of success(given the avg success of start ups being pretty low). So, the mgmt has decided to spun off a different subsidiary.

The owner wants us to play no part in the new subsidiary. He thinks the new product will be a different fork and existing product as a enhanced (ahem heavily customized) version. None of us can move to new subsidiary, only my manager has been moved over there.

Now I'm tasked with completely managing this team more of mgmt and less of technical leadership role). The team feels let down and think that the product could have been bootstrapped internally with the same team. It would have given a opportunity for us to learn new tech and possibly grow in career of the product were to be successful.

  • What is a successful strategy in commercializing internal products like this?

  • If you are an C-level executive, have made these kinds of decisions? What is the basis of it? When would you choose a different team ( beside technical skill)?

  • If you are in my position, how do you work with fellow members who feel let down morally?

closed as too broad by gnat, sf02, HorusKol, mag, Ernest Friedman-Hill Oct 2 at 12:46

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  • Do you all not have a marketing and/or product management? – KingDuken Sep 30 at 20:45
  • @kingDuken: Nope, it's an internal product. So there is no dedicated team for any of this. – joker_89 Oct 1 at 6:14
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What is a successful strategy in commercializing internal products like this?

Depends on the product, but basically the same, find a market and sell it to them. With or without customising it every which way. My main bread and butter started as an internal product.

If you are an C-level executive, have made these kinds of decisions? What is the basis of it? When would you choose a different team ( beside technical skill)?

Plenty of possible reasons, but usually it's about control and the ability to choose a team that focuses on marketing needs without cutting your existing capabilities in other areas if it all falls to bits. This new business is a gamble. So probably heavy on the marketing, cheap on the tech until they know it's worth chasing.

If you are in my position, how do you work with fellow members who feel let down morally?

If you're in charge, stay positive, you set the morale by example.

  • Thanks for the advice. I also consider this as an missed opportunity in terms of new learnings/role if I were a part of this new venture. I'm considering to look for other opportunities. – joker_89 Oct 1 at 6:12

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