Product Development (Innovation) PDF Print E-mail

After roughly 20 years of digging, I have finally managed to find the core skill I posess: I find and develop products really well.

Most of my experience is, in fact, in that area, either overtly or more hidden. I am really good in understanding what a customer/consumer wants, and to translate that into technical concepts and markets. Most of the other skills listed here are auxiliary to that.

I have learned this skill from a variety of sources, not the least formally (PDMA), and by watching those that can (e. g. Phil Hodgson). I believe in an iterative approach with lots of interaction with the customer. This drives prototyping and customer immersion.

Even software development, which most people think is my strong point, is just an expression of product development. I am really not too hot on developing algorithms. I love architecture work and the design of user interaction layers. These are the main tracks that will determine how the user will actually experience the system, which in turn is the main driver for satisfaction.

I am such a passionate product developer that I introduced the concepts into R&D at Whirlpool, even though I was not formally educated or even aware of it. It just made sense to get the customer/consumer as closely integrated into advanced product development as possible. Today, that is called Voice-of-the-Customer. My department was the first to employ product developers and talk directly to marketing. I even introduced the head of R&D to the head or marketing at Whirlpool.

Examples of this skill are:

 
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