Having started my career as a consultant, I’m always a consultant. My users are my customers and that is how they are treated. Like customers. Does not mean that I’m their slave, but they should be treated by respect and my main purpose is to bring business value, through the business people.
But also having worked for a product company, everything I work with is regarded as a product. Our web sites are products which our users consume. In this wonderful presentation, Peter Merholtz describes the importance of Experience of a product.
When you might see your product like this:
You should instead see your product like this:
Take an hour and go one step towards The Whole Product concept: