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Good Products, Bad Products: Essential Elements to Achieving Superior Quality

Book Description

What is the secret behind every successful product? Why are people willing to pay more for a BMW than a Chevrolet? How could Apple iPhones represent only 4% of the world’s cell phone market in 2011 but take in 50% of the profits? The answer is quality.

In this provocative new book, bestselling author James L. Adams provides a brilliant, in-depth look at the powerful but elusive qualities that can make or break a product’s success. A must-read for managers, designers, manufacturers, and marketers, this groundbreaking approach will change the way you think about your product—and show you why it’s more important than ever to deliver the highest quality possible. In Good Products, Bad Products, you’ll learn how to: :

  • Maximize your product’s performance—and minimize the cost
  • Appeal to your customer’s emotions—with elegance and sophistication
  • Make sure your product is a perfect fit—that’s human, cultural, and global

With competition growing stronger and fiercer every year, product quality has become the number-one factor in a company’s success. Adams points out that there will always be a stable demand for a high-quality product. By addressing every aspect of product quality—from the technical to the practical to the aesthetic—you can develop a product that your company will be proud of and your customers will love.

Along the way, you’ll hear fascinating case studies of famous brands that became victims of their own success—like Kodak, IBM, Zenith, and GM—and struggled to recover lost ground. You’ll see how some countries like Japan surged ahead by offering better products than anyone on the globe. You’ll learn how some U.S. manufacturers remained successful in spite of the foreign market’s lower wages. And you’ll discover the top industry secrets for prioritizing quality throughout the company, delivering products that are the best in their class.

Now more than ever, quality matters. Good Products, Bad Products gives you the edge—so you can give your customers the best product possible.

James L. Adams is professor emeritus at Stanford University, where he chaired several programs, taught courses on design and creativity, and participated in many executive programs. Trained as an engineer and artist, he has conducted corporate workshops around the world and has written the bestselling guide to creativity and innovation, Conceptual Blockbusting.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Good Products, Bad Products
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1 Products and Quality: What Is the Situation?
    1. Future Trends: Population Growth and “Taste”
    2. An Example of Quality Improvement
    3. Beyond Manufacturing Quality
    4. Global Competition
    5. Onward
  9. Chapter 2 Problems in Increasing Product Quality: Narrow-Mindedness and Attitudes
    1. Thinking, Problem Solving, and Quality
    2. Tradition Runs Deep
    3. Flaws in Economic Theory
    4. The Changing Nature of Design
    5. Increasing Creativity and Innovation
  10. Chapter 3 Performance, Cost, and Price: Is It a Good Deal?
    1. Quantifying Performance
    2. The Complexity of Cost and Price
    3. The Balancing Act Between Performance and Cost
    4. Why Are There Problems?
  11. Chapter 4 Human Fit: Does the Product Fit People?
    1. Physical Fit
    2. Sensory Fit
    3. Cognitive Fit
    4. Complexity
    5. Safety and Health
  12. Chapter 5 Craftsmanship: Joy to the Maker, Joy to the User
    1. Why Do We Care About Craftsmanship?
    2. The Pleasure and Pride of Craft
    3. The Industry and Culture Problem
    4. The Nature of Craftsmanship
    5. Some Suggestions
  13. Chapter 6 Products, Emotions, and Needs: Love, Hate, or Blah?
    1. How Emotions Play a Role
    2. The Complexity of Human Emotions
    3. Diversity in Emotional Responses
    4. The Mechanisms of Emotion
    5. Human Needs
    6. Needs and Emotions
    7. Need Finding
  14. Chapter 7 Aesthetics, Elegance, and Sophistication: Wisdom Through Experience
    1. Aesthetics and Industrial Products
    2. A Bit of Background on Industrial Design
    3. Elegance and Sophistication
    4. Product Form and Function
    5. Some Concerns on Today’s Aesthetics
  15. Chapter 8 Symbolism and Cultural Values: Who Are We?
    1. Products, Symbolism, and Cultures
    2. Products and National Cultures
    3. Products and Subcultures
    4. Globalism and Cultures
  16. Chapter 9 Global Constraints: Does the Product Fit a Finite Earth and Its Inhabitants?
    1. Big Problems
    2. The Role of Industrially Produced Products
    3. Why These Problems?
    4. Response to Change
    5. Revolutionary Approaches
    6. The Iceberg
    7. Regulations and Laws
    8. Now What?
  17. Chapter 10 Conclusion: What Have We Learned? Where Do We Go?
  18. Notes
  19. Further Reading
  20. Index