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From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas Into Money, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Phil Baker

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Oct 22, 2008

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In From Concept to Consumer, legendary product developer Phil Baker reveals exactly what it takes to create great products and bring them to market. Baker's product successes range from Apple's PowerBook to the Stowaway portable keyboard, the most successful PDA accessory ever created. Here, he walks you through the entire development process, showing how to develop products holistically, reflecting the crucial linkages between product design, engineering, testing, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. You'll discover what makes a winning product, and why great ideas are just 5% of the process... the easiest 5%! Baker illuminates crucial issues you won't find covered in any textbook, including: ten critical mistakes product inventors make... how to quantify and manage the hidden costs that can sink your product... how to time product delivery so you don't reach the market too early or too late... how to coordinate worldwide product development, and leverage Asian manufacturing without falling victim to its pitfalls. You'll find practical guidance for planning, establishing teams, creating marketing requirements, avoiding "feature creep," prototyping, protecting intellectual property, market testing and positioning, preparing for customer service, implementing the optimal distribution strategy, and much more. Then, once you've delivered your first winning product, Baker shows how to follow up with the next one... and the next one after that!

Table of Contents

    Preface xvii


01 New World, New Rules 1

    Build It and They Won’t Come 3

    New Rules 7

    Asia 10 

02 Just Do It 15

    Organizing for Rapid Development 15

    Get Customer Input 20

    Leveraging Outside Resources 21

    Remembering That Less Is More 24

    Don’t Get Hung Up with Perfection 26 

03 The Basics of Development 31

    Development 32

    Marketing 37

    Estimating Sales 39

    Product Specs 40

    Schedule 41

    Product Cost 44

04 Industrial Design Matters 51

    Discovering ID 56

    The Industrial Design Process 64

 05 Why Outsource? 67

    The Rise of the OEM and ODM Model 67

    Taiwan 69

    Mainland China 70

    Asia’s Advantage 72

    Is Outsourcing for All? 73

    Protection of Your Intellectual Property 75

    Product Quality 76

    The Chinese Factory 78

06 Selecting and Working with an Asian Partner 83

    Managing the Relationship 89

    Manufacturing Costs 89

    Manufacturing Quality 91

    Durability Testing 92

07 The Marketing Component 95

    Product Definition 96

    Market Testing 97

    Product Positioning 102

    Public Relations 104

    Customer Service 107

    Establishing Price 110

08 Distribution: Getting Your Product to the Customer 113

    What Are Your Choices? 113

    Retail Distribution 113

    Distribution Costs 116

    Selling Through 119

    Licensing 126

09 Legal Advice: Knowing When to Ignore It 127

    Patents 127

    Agreements and Contracts 132

    Development and Manufacturing Agreements 133

10 Now What ? 141


Epilogue: The Future of Product Development 149


Appendix A: Top Ten Rules 153

Appendix B: Products and the Environment 155

Appendix C: China–Helpful or Harmful? 159

Appendix D: A Representative List of Recommended Resources 163


Index 167