No duh, right? But if you are building a company, you should think about distribution in the same breath as you think about your product. Because it’s part and parcel of the business. If you can’t deliver the product, at a profit, you have a project, not a company.
From this blog post, which talks about building boring foundations instead of sexy new highly profitable features that have to go through gatekeepers.
But these payment processors had the customer relationships, and they had the starting product that the customer wanted.
See also this post, where Seth Levine talks about features vs products vs companies. It’s fine to start a company as a feature, as long as you have a viable distribution channel. But it’s more likely that customers will want products (though that depends on your customer–Twilio and AWS both have made plenty of money selling features to be incorporated into others’ products).