A product is a physical item that is placed on the business for profit, consideration, or consumption, while a service is an intangible item, which originates from the output of one or more people. Although it seems like the main difference between the two theories is established on their tangibility, it is not always the condition. In most circumstances, services are intangible, however, products are not always tangible. The product-service system (or PSS). For someone who’d like a fast refresher, a Product Service System replaces a good with a service; instead of spending for the product itself (and whatever maintenance and upkeep it requires), you pay to use the product for a bit, and then give it back. Think of it this method: a Product Service System is usually a solution to the problem, “Hey, do you really want to own one of those?”

There are a few typical cases: libraries, bike sharing (pictured above), and car-sharing services are all good ones, and we’ve rounded up a bunch of other good samples in the history. But what makes a good product service system? Read on for a few samples of some newer PSS’s that also explain why it’s better to rent than buy.

We like the idea of the Products Service System (PSS) so much that there’s an entire category for products available as services. We’ve covered the concept, but there are so many good ones, we couldn’t resist going for round two. Here are more ways to own less, save more and still get everything you need.


hearkens back to the co-op and kibbutz, but it’s collaborative living at its most modern.


Takes the Netflix model and updates it to a better fit is called peerflix


Takes unwanted furniture and helps it find a new home.


Serves your office project a solid cultural presence without ordering up a gallery’s-worth of art.


Offers full hire assistance for all your outdoor sports gear, without the buyer’s regret.


Products are naturally something that is manufactured, stocked, transported, promoted, and then sold. While products can either be physical or intangible, services are intangible. The distinctions between products and services are based on various factors, including tangibility, perishability, variability, including heterogeneity.

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