Compared to stone, water is amazingly flexible, and you can do many useful things with it, but you cannot build with it. For all of its amazing properties, its fluid nature works against you when you try to keep it in one place – it simply can’t form a solid structure.
Unless, of course, you freeze it, though that would only work in extremely cold environments. Luckily, those kinds of environments are exactly the places where humans feel the most pressing need to build.
Compared to products, services are amazingly flexible, their fluid nature can adapt to any need, fill any niche. But you cannot easily standardize them, set their scope, their outcomes, and therefore – their price.
Unless, of course, you productize it.
My spelling checker tells me I got that word wrong, and yet “to productize” a service means to surround it with carefully crafted limited scope, parameters, and a fixed price. An expert’s service is in its very nature very fluid, but can be “frozen” like this to fit an easy-to-predict scope with clear outcomes and then sold just like a “product”.
How does that work? Well, the client pays a fixed price for a fixed outcome, and the transaction ends there: 5000$ for a Zoom call that will clarify your next steps in X would be a good example. Not much to negotiate, no proposals, no risk of price increases.**
Still a service, but as clear and solid as ice.