CHAPTER 7Producing Powerful Products

People don’t pay for technology. They pay for a solution to their problem or for something they enjoy.Dean Kamen, Founder, DEKA Research and Development Corporation

Last year, consumer-products makers churned out more than 31,000 new products, including multiple varieties of everything from tomato sauce to garbage bags to iPod cases.

Few of these products will survive. And fewer yet will become breakthroughs. The most optimistic estimate is that only one in five launches will succeed; the most pessimistic, one out of 671. Many failures result from basic miscalculations about what customers need. The product is developed for all the wrong reasons. It was the CEO’s pet project. The engineers fell in love ...

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