Entrepreneurship & Product Development

I often feel that when talking about entrepreneurship we spend a lot of time talking about coming up with a great idea and then getting it funded and then running the company. What we don’t spend a lot of time talking about is how the product or service gets made. Most companies (start-up or not) use the textbook New Product Development model.

Here’s an article describing the traditional model which is important to understand if you want to grasp the newer models.

The Interactive Development Process – Here’s an article that also reflects the standard model but goes deeper into the “development process” and has a detailed graphic that I think is useful.

This textbook model is generally used at big companies. And there’s good evidence out there that shows that big companies have trouble innovating. Therefore, is this really the process we should be using at start-ups? Here are some articles with some different approaches that I think better suit start-ups.

This is How Apple’s Top Secret Development Process Works from TNW – Insight into the process inside one of the only large companies that has successfully brought new and truly innovative products to market again and again.

The Leading Cause of Start-Up Death Part 1: The Product Development Diagram from Steve Blank – Steve Blank shows us how using the textbook NPD model can be the kiss of death for a start-up.  Here’s a key quote:

“The diagram was developed to be used by existing companies doing product line extensions – not startups creating new markets or resegmenting existing ones. Most experienced entrepreneurs will tell you that the model collapses at first contact with customers.”

And here’s where Steve specifically thinks it fails…..

Here’s a high level of the principles of the product development /company development process as visioned by Eric Reis in The Lean Start-Up. (Should be required reading for all entrepreneurs as far as I’m concerned.)

One more bonus article……

Creating a Product Prototype from Entrepreneur – Sometimes we forget that not every start up starts with a web or app demo. Products that exist in the real world require 3-D prototypes. This article offers some good ideas on how to get there.