Product Development Software Development Differences you need to Observe



Today, the dependency on software has increased drastically. 

Individuals are becoming highly reliant on software products to address their different purposes regarding health, banking, entertainment, shopping, and much more. As a result, software product development companies are gaining more attention globally. 

But still, product development and software development are the terms that often confuse people conversely. However, both are quite different in their own ways. 

To explore the difference between product and software development, we have mentioned some of the points here to watch out for. So let’s get started. 

Product vs. Software Development

|1. Focus

With product development, the focal point is tangible product development that customers purchase. It usually includes prototype development and performing market analysis to identify the product demand.

In software development, the focal point is intangible product development that does not get manufactured. It involves writing optimised coding lines for programs or applications that you can run on computer systems or smart devices.  

|2. Life Cycle 

The life cycle of product development includes different stages like,

  1. Requirement analysis
  2. Code quality
  3. Choosing a tech stack 
  4. Adaptability
  5. Pricing 

Once a product has obtained its maximum capability, it will disappear gradually. 

The life cycle of software development includes different stages like, 

  1. Requirement analysis
  2. Defining 
  3. Software architecture 
  4. Designing
  5. Coding
  6. Testing
  7. Documentation 
  8. Deployment 
  9. Maintenance 

New software can be created, and the old one can be updated. The software does not need to reach its full potential before getting replaced or returned.  

|3. Team 

Product development needs a team of people with different skill sets. It involves

  • Engineers to design and develop prototypes 
  • Marketers for market analysis 
  • Salesperson to sell the product  

The Software development team has different roles that include,

  • Project manager to manage the entire project
  • Front-end developer for appealing 
  • Back-end developer for seamless administration 
  • UI-UX designer to develop intuitive designs 
  • Quality analysts to test the software 
  • Support and maintenance executives 

|4. Cost 

Factors that affect Product development costs include,

  • Ideation process 
  • Industrial design
  • Prototyping
  • Engineering 
  • Testing
  • Packaging design
  • Manufacturing setup

Factors that affect software development cost includes,

  • Scope of work 
  • Deadline
  • Budget
  • Continue development 
  • Software size
  • External libraries and plugins 
  • Level of complexity 
  • The vendor’s country 

|5. Tools  

Product developers use tools such as,

  • Product management software
  • Product lifecycle management 
  • Product analytics
  • Product roadmap tools 

Software developers use tools such as,

  • Version control software 
  • Source code editor
  • IDEs
  • Issue tracking apps 

|6. Design  

The intent behind product design is the bonding between customers and products. Its emphasis on the questions such as,

  • How to make the product cost-effective?
  • Does the product align with the short and long-term business objectives?
  • What will the product look like within two years?

Software design emphasises the user’s requirements and experience. Software designers address questions such as,

  • Do customers love using this software?
  • How do software features advantageous to the users?
  • How to make the software product more user-friendly? 

|7. Marketing  

Product marketing includes steps like,

  • Determine users’ personas for your product 
  • Develop, manage, and execute a marketing strategy
  • Maintain direct relationship with sales 
  • Identify product position in the market 
  • Ensure the product addresses users’ needs 
  • Maintain product relevancy 

Software marketing includes steps like,

  • Great stories
  • Fun videos 
  • Useful content
  • Client testimonial 
  • Animated infographics 
  • Animated explainers
  • Identify industry influencer  

|8. Commercialization  

Product commercialization involves, 

  • Defining offer 
  • Product alignment with core business 
  • Determine target audience 
  • Promote product 
  • Make a sales plan 

Software commercialization involves, 

  • Invention disclosure 
  • Protection
  • Marketing 
  • Licensing 

In a Nutshell 

Software products are now a mainstay of people’s lives where they utilise them to streamline their day-to-day life activities. 

IT professionals find it easier to develop features/functionalities when they know the difference between product and software solutions. 

As a success-driven business owner, you need software or a product for a specific purpose. These differences will help you choose the most feasible method based on your needs.