I've always been attracted to technology products and gadgetry. Throughout my career I've had the opportunity and good fortune to be associated with many defining consumer technology companies and products such as Polaroid's SX-70 camera, Apple's Newton MessagePad and PowerBooks, and many more.
I wrote this book to be able to share with readers what's involved in taking a concept and transforming it into a successful product, based on what I've seen and experienced for more than three decades.
One thing I've learned is that creating a successful product is much more than coming up with the idea; in fact, that's usually the easiest part. It's much more about what happens after. It involves a wide range of activities that bring together all sorts of disciplines, everything from engineering to product management to distribution to marketing. Each of these activities is much like a link in a chain. When one link fails, the entire endeavor can fail.
I thought this was an important story to be told and could find no other books that looked at all the activities in concert. While there are books on specific areas, such as engineering management, project management, and marketing, most of these are about processes, procedures, and theories, with only a few of them delving into real-life examples as experienced firsthand by the author. They don't convey the real-life, day-to-day issues, whose solutions often vary from conventional thinking. Those books are akin to what's taught in business school, while this book is more like the lab course that's never offered.
This book covers the new rules that have resulted from how quickly products are developed, their shorter life cycles, the use of outsourcing, and the Internet. All these factors have changed how things are now done. One of the biggest changes is the impact of China on product development and manufacturing and how it affects how we do things.
This book is intended not only for those involved in bringing out their own product, but also for those just curious about what's involved and how things work behind the scenes that rarely get exposed. This book will provide that along with some useful examples.
For entrepreneurs who work by themselves, as well as those involved in product related activities in both small and large companies, you'll have a better understanding of the steps to follow to be successful with your own products. You'll learn how to take advantage of new resources and new thinking. Plus you'll learn to ignore the naysayers who tell you not to buck the system and to just do it the way it's always been done. Most of all you'll have a better understanding of your options and what to expect.
I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.