Product launches are one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding processes known to entrepreneurs. And if you want to grow a profitable company then, you’ll soon realize the importance of product development and the behind the scenes iteration that makes it possible.
Who knows! You may become obsessed with launching new ideas too.
Iterative Product Development
When you’re passionate about any aspect of business, that enthusiasm cultivates repetition. Repeating the product development process (iteration) is not unheard of for enterprise companies. Quite frankly, iteration is behind some of the world’s most successful brands.
Furthermore, if your ‘bright idea’ set the stage for a thriving company, imagine the possibilities of “genius on replay” — a consistent process of “ideation to creation.”
Whether by choice, or chance the longer you are in business, the more likely iterative product development will become. For example, you may need to:
- Retool your current product to add value.
- Create brand extensions to grow market share.
- Address competitive pressures via “new news” initiatives.
And if you’re thinking, “Not me, my product is perfect just as it is,” … think again.
How many versions of your smart phone currently exist? Does your wardrobe consist of slim fit and low-rise denim — of the same brand? In contrast, do you listen to broken records that play the same track? And wouldn’t it be shameful if your favorite theater only played one movie?
The truth is — your ability to develop new products, iterate and deliver on core competencies will significantly improve and diversify your business in the long-run.
How to Launch Market Leading Products
Not all ideas make it through the full product development process. But, the ones that do have huge potential. Thus, here are four tips to help you manage your development obsession and launch market leaders.
1. Stay true to your main objective.
Does a new product support your primary business goal? All paths should lead back to your mission and support “why” you exist.
2. Clearly define requirements.
Do you know everything it takes to create your new widget? Not likely. Start with speculation and end with consultation. Connect with specialists at each checkpoint to assess actual needs. For example, if your widget requires contract labor, set up site visits with manufacturers and learn how they can help you.
3. Document dirty details.
Product launches generally focus on six core areas: ideation, concept testing, business analysis, market testing, production and commercialization. Your process may include some or all of these. Classify the details and streamline to increase efficiency.
4. Make it sellable, shippable, supportable and scaleable.
Identify the benefits and features of your product. Then, ensure that it’s ready for end-users (i.e. no major functionality problems exist and the production process is clearly defined). Next, guarantee its supportability via quality assurance checks. And lastly, while you’d be excited to sell ten widgets, prepare to sell ten thousand. Make it scaleable.
What’s your experience with product development? Love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below.