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Product development: Idea to launch and beyond



Kirjoittanut: Ariel Cohen - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 6 minuuttia.

Product development.  The idea to launch and beyond. 

 

Introduction 

 

In my opinion, product development is a process that every entrepreneur should learn at the start of their journey into the complex business world. It is a process, that starts way before anything gets built. I wanted to write about this, because I’m in a situation, where product development steps in. I have (in my opinion) a great idea and l want to turn that into an actual successful venture.  

Starting to make a new product is like starting a complicated journey. This process is about turning an idea into a real product that can be hopefully sold one day. In a world where things change fast and people like different stuff, understanding how to make products is super important for businesses that want to stay in the game. 

 

Making a new product is like going through different steps, each with its problems and things that help. From thinking up an idea to selling the product and more, it’s a mix of being creative, practical, and knowing what people want. It’s not just about making something new; it’s about making something new that people will love and find useful. On the other hand, nowadays many products are unnecessary, and people are just consumeristic maniacs.  

 

As we talk about this, it’s important to understand how big of a deal-making products is. It’s not just a process; it helps a company grow, keep up with new tech, and give people what they want. So, let’s start this essay, and see how an idea becomes something real that people can use. 

 

 

What is product development? 

 

In a nutshell, it’s the process of turning an idea into actual venture and developing it constantly.  

It is the strategic process of brainstorming, planning, building, and finally, releasing a working product to the markets and measuring its success. Product development is also about enhancing an existing product and developing it in a better direction. That is how you can grow your business faster and make the customers happy.  

 

Traditionally, this was something that was only done in the building phase, and teams, who followed a strict waterfall mode, requirements were done upfront and letting the finished product do its work. As every Fin probably knows, Nokia was a good example of this, and later on, they collapsed when they could not provide a product that the customers wanted. They had the knowledge and technology to do it, but they believed their product was good enough upfront. That’s when the companies who constantly were ready to develop their products gained an advantage in the markets and overtook Nokia’s position.  

 

In agile methodology, teams are ready to constantly develop the product according to the needs of the customer and change is expected and welcome. (Aha! Nd)  

 

The idea, feasibility analysis, and concept genesis 

 

As discussed earlier, everything starts from an idea. The idea of what you want to create and bring to life. You might be inspired by the needs of the market, your own experiences, feedback, or just while generating random ideas. We tend to fall in love with our idea and that might be a negative thing. How do you identify a good or bad idea? How do we know if it will fit the existing markets or how do we change the actual markets to fit our idea?  

 

Ideas are cultivated and later on, changed into concrete concepts when simultaneously measuring their feasibility to assess their technical, financial, and market viability. A feasibility study determines the likelihood of succeeding. Concept genesis refers to the process of transforming a recognized product opportunity or idea into a tangible and well-defined concept. In simpler terms, it’s about taking a thought or a potential product and turning it into something concrete and clear. 

 

During concept genesis, individuals or teams refine the initial idea, giving it more structure. This involves thinking about how the product will look, function, and meet the needs of users or customers. The goal is to create a clear and versatile concept that can serve as the foundation for further development. It sets the stage for the necessary stages like design, testing, and manufacturing. Concept genesis helps ensure that the team has a solid understanding of what they are trying to create before investing time and resources into detailed planning and development. (Gillis Nd) 

 

 

Prototyping and designing 

 

Once a product concept has been deemed worthy of pursuit due to its potential in the market, the next logical step is to create a prototype with the help of design. The prototype is a simplified, preliminary version of the product, offering a tangible representation of how the final product will look and function. It serves as an actual product, allowing stakeholders, designers, and engineers to interact with the idea more concretely. It also attracts possible investors when they actually can see the product in reality.  

 

One of the key features of prototyping is its rapid nature. The emphasis is on creating a quick, cost-effective model that captures the essential elements of the concept. This speed is essential for maintaining momentum in the development process and facilitates timely feedback, enabling teams to make necessary adjustments. 

The process of prototyping is not just about creating a physical model; it also involves testing and gathering feedback. Users and stakeholders can interact with the prototype, providing insights into how well the product meets their needs and expectations. This iterative feedback loop is invaluable in identifying potential issues early on and refining the concept for optimal performance. 

 

Prototyping reduces possible risks as well. By creating a tangible representation of the product before investing heavily in full-scale development, teams can identify and address challenges, reducing the likelihood of errors down the line. Although prototyping most likely will save hefty amounts in the future, it also requires capital, and often new entrepreneurs face challenges in acquiring it. (Gillis Nd) 

 

 

Testing, regulatory compliances to manufacturing 

 

After the prototype, the product undergoes testing to ensure it meets the criteria and user expectations. Analysing the concept, feature, or how it functions to determine customer satisfaction. 

Depending on the industry or operating country, the product may need to adjust to specific regulations and standards. It may need some necessary certifications or approvals. As an example, the CE-Certification is a promise to the customer, that the product fulfills the regulations in Europe.  

With the validated design, the focus shifts to production for the market release. This includes setting up the manufacturing process, ensuring quality control, and finding and managing the trusted supply chain. It might be challenging to set up these things and find the right suppliers. (Gillis Nd) 

 

 

Commercialization, post-launch evaluation, and continuous development 

 

The original idea, which is now cultivated into the actual product after multiple phases, faces the actual launch to the markets. By implementing an effective marketing and sales strategy, cultivates product awareness and draws in potential customers.  

After the launch, comes the phase where customer satisfaction, feedback, data, and market trends are continuously monitored to spot areas of improvement and innovation. Companies that are willing and ready to adjust their products according to the market and customer needs are the ones succeeding. Product development is a continuous process, and it creates the life cycle for it. (Gillis Nd) 

 

Conclusion 

 

In conclusion, the journey of product development is a multifaceted expedition that navigates through various crucial phases. From the inception of an idea to the market-ready product, each stage plays a pivotal role in shaping the success and viability of the result. The complexities inherent in this process demand creativity and a strategic and interdisciplinary approach. 

As we’ve explored the challenges and critical success factors associated with each phase, it becomes evident that successful product development requires a delicate balance of innovation, feasibility, and market responsiveness. The ability to navigate these intricacies effectively determines not only the product’s introduction to the market but also its sustained relevance and competitiveness. 

Furthermore, the interconnectedness of these phases underscores the importance of a seamless transition from one stage to the next. A well-managed product development lifecycle ensures that insights gained during testing and prototyping inform the design and manufacturing phases, leading to a product that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations. 

Ultimately, the success of a product in the market is a testament to the effectiveness of the product development process. Whether it’s adapting to emerging technologies, addressing consumer needs, or navigating regulatory landscapes, the agility and resilience demonstrated in each phase contribute to the product’s ability to thrive in a dynamic business environment. 

In a world where innovation is the key, mastering the art of product development is not just a necessity but a competitive advantage. It is a journey that goes beyond the creation of a product; it is about crafting solutions that resonate with users, contribute to a company’s growth, and stand the test of time in an ever-evolving market landscape. As we conclude our exploration, it is evident that product development is not just a process—it is a dynamic force that propels businesses toward sustained success and relevance in the competitive global marketplace. 

 

 

 

References 

 

Aha!. Nd. What is product development? Essential quide for product managers. Read on 1.12.2023 

https://www.aha.io/roadmapping/guide/what-is-product-development 

 

Gillis. A. Product development (New product development – NPD) Read on 1.12.2023 

https://www.techtarget.com/searchcio/definition/product-development-or-new-product-development-NPD 

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