Layering

January 27, 2008

Well this week I wanted to get away from from Seth Godin’s blog, but none of the other entries even sparked my interest. In fact three entries of Seth’s in my mind deserved a post about them. While one was already commented on I will make an entirely new post about it since I tend to write quite a bit and was told to make long comments into posts. So here goes, I’ll start off with Layering.

What interested me about this post was that those companies that plan and plan and then execute will always find themselves behind those firms who planned and executed then modified and executed the modifications. This is incredibly true in that if you just continue to plan and plan, with the way the market and the world for that matter is changing, you will never reach the stage in which you are perfectly happy with your final product. The point is that you have to get the product out there and let the consumers decide what needs to be changed. The sooner you can introduce your product to the economy the better I think. That being said you can’t release just any old idea, it still has to be carefully planned, but once you have something that is a complete product it should be released for review. The longer you hold back your idea from the consumers, the more likely it is that someone else will think of the same idea and release it before you.

All products have to go through changes to stay in demand, take the Ipod for example. When the Ipod came out first it was a great hit, and it received lots of reviews as to what consumers think would improve the product. The original Ipod is still popular and you can still purchase the original styled Ipods. But smaller ones have been released, ones that play video, ones with more memory, and more technical ones like the new Ipod touch (which sounds like there are lots of suggestions as to what could improve this model).

This is a perfect example of releasing the product and then modifying it afterwards. The Ipod was a huge hit and continues to sell like crazy. Each new Ipod model release always sparks new sales, and will most likely continue to do so in the future. If Apple tried to release a perfect product they would still be designing, and would have a prototype of the Ipod Touch now but it would have to be modified again and again into the new model but never released.

As mentioned before you have to let the market decide what it wants. Firms have to stop their planning somewhere and release the product, and then perhaps the most important planning is still ahead. Reacting to what the market is telling you is the most important part of a product’s life cycle and will decide how long the product will last in the market.

-TAG

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