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Just caught this great article in the Economist about when products flop (fail spectacularly) in the market. This is on the heels of the most recent flop courtesy of the good folks at Disney Films, John Carter. $300M in $30M out. Ouch! Even for a company as large as Disney that one hurts.
One point the article makes is that in business, occasional flops walk hand in hand with successful products. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as it were. It's true that sometimes it takes a big risk to make a big hit. Still I wouldn't want to be the producer of the John Carter movie right about now. He just blew $300M; let another guy make that mistake.
We have entered the era of big data and are experiencing its major implications on the way we do business firsthand. According to this McKinsey article (available with a free registration), “companies with more than 1,000 employees store, on average, over 235 terabytes of data- more data than is contained in the US Library of Congress.”
A couple major trends are impacting the world of product companies today. Products are more technologically advanced than ever and are being conceived, planned and developed by teams spread all over the world. Pressure from competition continues to grow while at the same time, business are given less resources to work with. Making faster, better and cheaper products is a tall order so companies are beginning to rethink their approach to product planning as a way to gain business advantage.
Some of the most exciting and impactful changes coming out of tech right now are in B2B. Analytics, big data, and cloud computing - these are three of the areas that Gartner has identified as the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012. As a SaaS company providing a solution in the data-heavy area of product planning and requirements management, this is great news. But Gartner has uncovered an extremely important trend in next-generation analytics that is right at the center of product planning.
It’s the age-old question of product management and product development: how do you balance customer problems and requests with the features and initiatives that will help bring in new customers and grow your business?
In this week’s Forbes article ‘Making Software Development Fast, Effective & Intelligent,’ author Tom Groenfeldt highlights that “simply pleasing your existing customers can lock you into products that serve past, rather than future needs in the marketplace.”
The power of big data is not the data itself but the way companies use it to guide decision-making in all areas of their business. MIT Sloan Management Review put out a research report with some interesting insights about how top performing and lower performing companies use analytics.
It does not come as a surprise that top performers excel at leveraging their data for the best business results; they are 5 times as likely to use analytics as their lower performer peers.
The results from the 2012 Study of Product Team Performance are in and there are certainly some interesting insights to be gained. We’d love to share the data now but Greg Geracie, who will be presenting the results at our webinar on the 28th, asked us not to spoil the surprise.
We can tell you that industry experts give estimates of product failure rates vary between 50% and 75%. Between outright product failures and underperforming products, we believe that the “real” number is towards the top end of this range.
First of all, a big thank you to Greg Cohen for giving a great presentation at yesterday’s webinar. He showed us how lean product management can help us get products to market quickly and successfully. Thank you to everyone who participated and for those of you who were not able to make it, please feel free to watch the replay. Greg has kindly answered the remaining questions that we were not able to cover during our Q&A session.
Want to learn more about Lean Product Management? We are hosting a webinar on March 8 with lean product management expert Greg Cohen from the 280 Group.
I might not be a product manager but I sure do spend a lot of time using spreadsheets. From a product perspective, we can use spreadsheets to manage a list of requirements, track owners and status, and make sure that nothing gets left out in the process. For complicated products with lots of people and technology involved, linked spreadsheets can help keep teams on the same page.
But at a certain point, the data we need to process becomes too complicated to manage with spreadsheets. Where exactly is this tipping point?