The Importance of Understanding the Product Life cycle

Adam Kaufman is General Manager at dLife Healthcare Solutions (http://www.dlife.com). In this video he discusses the importance of understanding the product life cycle.

  1. Time frame to build, test & launch
  2. Time frame for approval & regulatory issues
  3. Time frame to tap into sales channels
  4. Time frame of the buying cycle
  5. Time frame for future versions & obsolescence

I’ve thought of a mentor for the last five years, CEO of two Fortune 500 Companies and he and I were at a conference together. I looked over him and I said, you know, what do you think is the most important skill for CEO and what makes, you know, skill transferrable and he said understanding the product life cycle here and industry because the product life cycle at it’s hard is about the time frames that things happen. How long does it take to build your product and test it and launch it.

That speaks to how much investment you need and how many people and what the understanding of how the business is going to develop. You know, what do you need from a regulatory and approval stand point before your product can go live.

What are the sales channels, it’s very different to build a product that goes up on our website the next day in the selling then they get something in the retail. And the time frame that it takes is part of what it means to bring something successfully in the market and to sell it.

What’s the buying cycle of your customers? Did they buy only at the end of year, did they want to buy a product that’s stable for multiple years or they want that to change?

And the lastly, how do you version or make that product obsolete? Tying that altogether is gong t be very different for example, a [theory] in medical device industry where there’s multiple years you have to run that trial to approve that it works. You have to go to a regulatory body. Your customers are going to have these for years and they think if you’re installing at our official hip, you know, you’re not going to take that out. You’re going to have to support it for a long time versus if you’re building entertainment website where the content should cycle everyday.

So, understanding that is going to be critical to how you build your business or kind of investment you need, what the time frames would be and who you’re working with. And so, I often reflect on what that mentor of mine said and recognize it. It’s actually maybe more critical to understand that than it is most of the other dynamics in your business.