Considerations for New Product Development

photo by gfpeck
Carl Knibbs on his aptly named “carl’s product management blog” has a post discussing considerations for getting the green light on development of a new product. I agree on all Carl’s points and would add:

How Big?
Market/opportunity size will typically be the number one concern for a new venture. A new product should make it the same. Find a way to quantify the opportunity and present it in a way that makes sense to someone not familiar with the market.

Why Us?
Carl covered “why me” – I’d like to see some statement that explains why your company is poised to succeed at this new venture.

Whatever the reason, spell it out. Why is your company uniquely positioned to succeed in this endeavor?

Who Else?
Who else is likely to attack the opportunity. While the opportunity size defines the size of the pie, the answer to this question helps to define the size of your slice (given the answer to “why us” above). Under most circumstances, a small slice of a small pie is not an interesting proposition regardless of the answers to the other questions.

Why Now?
If you’ve ever been involved with a start-up, you know just how important timing can be. Some might say that it is the most important consideration – though it’s nearly impossible to predict “perfect” timing”. It’s important to explain why this is the right time to solve the problem for your target market. What makes today an important time for the market?

Then What?
Like any good start-up, a new product should have an exit strategy. What’s the long-term vision. Do you integrate with other parts of your portfolio? Does this establish the beginning of a new portfolio? Does the product get spun-off as a new business or acquired by a competitor. This isn’t a “burn the ships at the shore” statement of strategy, but it’s important to have some idea of the potential outcomes as they will drive long-term strategy.

Nice list Carl, thanks for carrying the conversation forward.

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