From Idea to Launch at Internet Speed: How to Identify and Develop Profitable Opportunities

Kitcho, Catherine

Published by Pele Publications, 2001
ISBN 10: 1929936001 / ISBN 13: 9781929936007
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Synopsis: The latest new product management strategies and techniques, to reach your market faster, and to reap greater profit. This comprehensive guide contains practical and realistic information for managing new products from original concept to market launch - with an eye on profit throughout the whole cycle. The book's eighteen chapters and 100 illustrations address the most critical new product management issues, including screening of product ideas, business models, market strategies, speeding up product development, partnering, lessons from the dot-com boom and bust, simple but effective business and marketing plans, and launching products in the Internet Era. The content includes examples from 20 companies. CEOs, product managers, entrepreneurs, investors, marketing professionals and business development executives will find this book valuable for making decisions and managing new products every step of the way. The CD included with the book contains customizable tools and templates that will help the reader put these principles into action.

From the Author: This book is for any business professional who is involved in conceptualizing, developing or launching new products. Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or an executive of a company that develops many new products, this book will help you think through the issues you will be facing, help organize the information, and help you manage the entire process from original idea screening through launch into the marketplace.

The process of developing new ideas into products and taking them to market is challenging but very rewarding. It requires creativity, patience, risk-taking, objectivity, intuition, and a lot of hard work. These skills have always been, and continue to be, necessary to the successful development of new products, but now that we are in the beginning of the Internet Era, the ability to execute them quickly is of paramount importance. The Internet Era began in the late 1990s, when Internet technologies effected a major shift in business operations and commerce in general; every company now must move at Internet "speed" in order to serve their customers and compete effectively. In addition, in the aftermath of the dot-com decline, we are witnessing the return of profitability as a key measure, not only of success, but of business survival itself. Speed with an eye on profit has become the new mantra of those pursuing new opportunities today.

I was fortunate to have the experience of developing an entire new ventures program and incubator for TRW-ESL in the 1990s. Establishing this program gave me experience in applying business basics to the new idea process, and at that time, profitability was a key focus. So was speed, given the aggressive goal our president chose. The new ventures process that we used in the program enabled us to screen and validate business ideas and develop complete business plans in 60 days or less, and the process was based on models used in the high tech venture capital community. The first part of this book is based on this successful process; and is the first time it has been captured in print.

In 1995, I left TRW-ESL and formed my own consulting company. I continued to apply the skills and techniques to my growing client base of high tech entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes. Starting with the idea selection criteria, validation techniques and business plan models that I implemented at TRW-ESL, I continued to improve and refine them, developing new tools along the way. I developed business plan templates to enable entrepreneurs to quickly think through all of the business issues for their venture. I developed partner selection criteria for companies that were seeking the right strategic partners to enter new markets. I conducted market research for clients who wanted to identify and characterize new opportunities, and, in the process, I discovered how to evaluate market trends and forecasts realistically. I developed a business model mapping technique that proved to be an invaluable tool for marketing, distribution, business operations, and channel management. I advised clients on the best marketing strategies to use for their new opportunities. I helped clients launch all types of products and services, and became a specialist in product launch, capturing this knowledge in my book, "High Tech Product Launch", which was published in 1999. By this time, I had helped plan and launch new products and ventures for more than 30 entrepreneurs and 20 companies, from startups to giants.

The year 2000 was a year of tremendous business and economic change. The Internet Era was well underway, with companies expected to move faster and faster. New business models made possible by the technologies of the Internet were starting to take shape. Partnering and outsourcing increased tremendously. Large, mature companies took their cue from rebel startups and began to successfully convert their operations to "e-business". And suddenly, the marketing strategies that startups and large companies had used successfully in the early "Internet years" were severely tested. Customers became more powerful and central to the average company's existence. The dot-com mania started to decline, and the pendulum started swinging back toward business basics again - revenue and profit were top priorities again. This shift in emphasis means that today, we have to be more savvy about how we take advantage of new opportunities, and that's why I chose this time to write this book.

"From Idea to Launch at Internet Speed" follows the order of the new product cycle. The first part focuses on the idea screening process and considerations involved in establishing your own company's criteria. Chapter 2 of the book gives general guidelines on how to develop realistic criteria and how to make decisions quickly, both critical in the Internet Era. The six most important criteria each have their own chapter: strategic fit, customer, competition, market, resources, and profit. In each of these six chapters, examples are given of meaningful or proven criteria, and guidelines are presented for refining them to fit your situation or your company's environment.

Part Two is an updated look at strategy and planning for new products in the Internet Era. New marketing strategies are described here. The subject of business models is covered in two chapters; one on business model mapping as an invaluable planning tool, and the other on new types of business models for the Internet Era. Additional chapters address partnering and value distribution, speeding up product development, and how to streamline business and marketing plans.

Part Three is an update of the launch phase for the Internet Era. This is a supplement to my earlier book, "High Tech Product Launch", and is a high-level look at ways to maintain speed through the launch cycle by leveraging the web and choosing the best marketing programs. Part Four is about maintaining momentum, and the summary chapter includes everything you need to know in order to set up and maintain a repeatable new product process in your own company. Appendices include recommended supplemental reading, as well as useful tools and templates supplied on an accompanying CD.

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Title: From Idea to Launch at Internet Speed: How ...
Publisher: Pele Publications
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Very Good

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