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Product Analysis

Too often, products are developed and brought to market having only had the benefit of ideas from people within the organization. The resulting fact is that the product, which may be a brilliant idea in concept, may well be user unfriendly or have other quirks that can render it unsaleable.

For larger corporations, it may mean that the product line is dropped and they will probably go back to the proverbial drawing board; but, for a smaller company it could be a life or death situation.

Things that seem obvious to the people who made the product may be confusing to someone else.

Even with twenty six years of experience and having used thousands of different software packages, I have been frustrated while trying to use a new version of some package that I have been using for years. Every software vendor seems convinced that they have a better idea and, of course, it was a new team that developed the new version. So, after spending way too long trying to find the menu item that has seemingly dissappeared, I call their tech support for help. If I am lucky enough to get someone that has a clue, they will probably make me feel like a fool by telling me to go click, click, click, and there it is, the thing I wanted!

An independent analyst might have asked them why they moved it, did they realize that it would be very hard to find, and have they considered the cost of thousands of unnecesary tech support calls.

Sometimes, the product only needs to be sold in a different market to make it successful.

Kodak, as example, had a fabulous digital camera, the DCS315, which had a digital back on a Nikon Pronea body. The facts that it was a true SLR with interchangeable lenses and could shoot two pictures per second made it significantly superior to cameras made by Sony and Canon with significantly higher (20%) prices. But; because Kodak kept it in it's "professional" product group and never made it available in a retail channel, nor even submitted it to magazines for reviews, it's sales languished and the product was discontinued. Had the camera been available at Best Buy, et al, and reviewed in PC Magazine, I believe it would have sold like crazy.

More on this subject to come....

If you have any questions or comments, please E-mail me.

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