Product Development 101

i am about to start working on a new project, it’s in the building industry.

in my usual ‘interview’ conversation I get asked, what do you do. my answer is generally, most things other than pretty pictures and computer coding. the work that i do is often in the product or service development space. I think of both physical products and services as products, and will refer to them in the singular from now on.

So you have an idea, what now?

I’m going to assume that you have access to unlimited funding. Yes, we all can dream. But assuming that you are in this enviable position you’d still need to go through the following process:

– Define the product, find the competition

– Create and document all processes relating to what is required to meet the customer’s expectations

– From the processes you will identify the financial needs (offices, technology and people), and can find out the total operating cost

– The final step is to price the product and prove the business case i.e. this is a profitable product

– If the product has good ROI, create marketing materials (print, web, brand) and then go sell, sell, sell, sell….

This skeleton approach will help you put into perspective how you should go about any product development. Thinking that you can properly price the product before you know what’s necessary to deliver it is a fool’s errand and many people stumble here.

My experience has taught me that it’s very easy to be rosy about our own ideas, but they should always be driven by strong analysis of both our idea and the existing market. After all, when you launch a new product you are declaring war to all of your competitors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s