Product Development: 9 Critical Lessons Learned

March 29th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

The Sterland Product Development Gangphoto © 2005 Ben and Kaz Askins | more info (via: Wylio)
We should periodically step back and look at some of the lessons learned during our careers.  Every post that I write includes a “Takeaway” or lesson learned. I always include the Takeaway to provide a bit of advice boiled down to one or two sentences. Here are 9 lessons I learned about Product Development.

Intellectual Discipline in Product Development

Product Development is important to the whole organization.  It is an intellectual discipline that innovates and renovates products and services that are the lifeblood of companies. Full article here.

Naming Innovative New Products

Breakthrough products or categories are hard to define for the audience.  A descriptive name can break through to potential purchasers. Full article here.

Why Are New Products Launched –To Succeed or Fail?

Marketers must strive to utilize our precious resources: people, time and capital.  Opportunity costs are indeed high when a new product fails. Full article here.

Why Are New Products Launched –3 Correct Reasons?

Product Development that is driven by solid analysis coupled with considered ideas and opportunities has a higher opportunity for success. Full article here.

Why Are New Products Launched –The External Reasons?

Taking action to steer clear of faulty reasons for developing new products will assist you and your firm in having a higher success rate in business-to-business new product introductions. Full article here.

Why Are New Products Launched  –The Internal Reasons?

To get the full picture, we must examine the foundations of why we launch new products and eliminate those approaches, which by their nature, are most likely to lead to failure. Full article here.

Take Product Add Service:  Result is More Profit

Margins are increased when purchasers value their convenience and efficacy of the product versus the competition. Full article here.

No Matter What You Call Them They Taste Great

Adroit business people will spot trends early on or identify products or services that can be the start of a trend.  Acai and Pomegranate are two recent food trends that immediately come to mind. Full article here.

Pricing’s Role in Product Development

A customer-in approach to pricing allows a more accurate cost model and attaining the desired profit margin. Full article here.

The Takeaway

Product Development is an ever-evolving discipline that requires us to look at our successes and failures to improve the new products and services that we develop.

Those are the lessons learned.  How about you?  Please comment below.

1.      What other lessons learned can you add to the list?

2.      Do you periodically step back and consider the lessons you have learned in your career?

3.      Would you change any of the lessons above?  If yes, why?

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  1. I agree with what you’re saying Rob about Under Promising and Over Delivering. I apply that in both my business and my “day job” I think it’s an important step in building the trust of the people you are working for as well as your clients. Good post.

  2. Dear Rob.

    I think the ship decision is a major battle ground and the one thing I have learnt is to ship early rather than late and use customer feedback and revenues to refine the product. Many product teams wait too long because they feel they are not ready and keep on iterating.


    • Rob Berman says:


      It depends on how much your product is a beta versus a final product. You do not want to hurt your company reputation by sending a product out too early.


  3. Good list for an intellectual exercise Rob. A good reminder.

    Personally I always evaluate and learn from what I have experienced during my career, life actually. Will not stop doing so until I pass away. Unfortunately far too many people, and companies, are not into intellectual exercises and hence make mistakes that could have been avoided.

    • Rob Berman says:


      We need to spend the human capital to think about our futures. We should learn from our experiences and change our behaviors accordingly.


  4. I see Keyuri’s point. You have a great list here, Rob, as always. But what she said is solid. I always try sell the value of what I do as opposed to the product. That’s how I separate myself from the rest. This makes me wonder about all the iPhone 4 people who swear by the product and yet drop calls every 5 minutes.

    • Rob Berman says:


      I recently got an iPhone 4 to make it easier to collaborate with some people. I do not find the dropped calls a problem but I am not in NY or LA. I have started using an iPad for collaboration as well. Are they overpriced and overhyped? Yes, but valuable tools nonetheless. Value is important and what we all should promise and deliver. I try to under promise and over deliver as the old saying goes.


  5. I took some time to refamiliarize myself with some of your previous posts. The messages are helpoful ones. The only think I’d add about product development is to maintain corporate integrity. I take pride in (attempting to) provide it in what I offer. As a consumer it’s vital for me to choose from companies that offer similar products. If I sense at all that the internal or external motivation of a company is merely fiscal gain without putting in the effort to provide value, I’m turned off.
    What are you seeing when you work with companies. Are they providing new products for the “right” reasons?

    • Rob Berman says:


      Some companies are providing products for the right reasons and others are all about profit. It is not product development but I have a perfect example of honesty just today. Terminix sent me a postcard telling me that my service was going up $3. Their message was no surprise we are an upfront company. On the other hand, I had a former client who would regularly raise rates and hope no one noticed in the bill. Sometimes they would put in a little slip of paper with the bill that usually got lost so they notified but not really. Which company would you rather do business with?


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