Chapter 8

Product System

How You Create Complementary Products and Services

Product System innovations are rooted in how individual products and services connect or bundle together to create a robust and scalable system. This is fostered through interoperability, modularity, integration, and other ways of creating valuable connections between otherwise distinct and disparate offerings. Product System innovations help you build ecosystems that captivate and delight customers and defend against competitors.

Product bundling, or taking several related products and selling them in a single package, is a common example of a Product System innovation. In the twenty-first century, technology companies in particular have used this type of innovation to build platforms that spur others to develop products and services for them—including app stores, developer kits, and APIs. Other Product System innovations include extensions to existing products, product and service combinations, and complementary offerings—which individually work just fine on their own, but are far better together (even ones as humble as peanut butter and jelly).

Product System innovations can include offerings that you don’t own or produce. In fact, it’s often more rewarding (and a lot more fun) to find ways for others to create products and services that add value to yours.

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How to spot potential Product System innovations: ...

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