Product Life Cycle

Kiran Jethwa


Phone: (650) 465-7411

Product Life Cycle
Common Problems
Best Practices
Concept Phase Product is still just an idea
  • No answer to "Is this a viable business?"
  • No market problem. Build it and they will come mentality
  • No market research, segmentation or sizing
  • Identify a market problem. Days of "Build it and the customers will come" are long gone
  • Conduct market reserach to determine market size, market segments, potential beta customers, prelimnary competitive landscape
Product Strategy Ok, it's a potential money generating business. Now what?
  • Sometimes this phase is completely missed
  • Engineering team does not understand the business case for the product
  • Perform an objective analysis of market size, risk, financial model and get management and sales buy-in.
  • Make Buy vs Build vs Partner decision.
  • Customer Validation: Engage usability team and create a prototype / wire-frame. Solicit customer feedback.
  • Generate MRD detailing the market problem, market size and the product vision and mission.
  • Create a resource plan and product roadmap
Product Development Building the product
  • Long development. Market window of opportunity lost
  • B2B: Over-engineering. ALL bells and whistles prior to shipping
  • Engineering / Design team don't know what to build
  • Implement Agile product development methodology
  • Define measurable milestones
  • Implement a Beta Program
  • Generate adequate requirement specifications - Less is more
Go-To-Market The product is built. How do you go to market with it?
  • No product sales
  • Sales team does not understand customer problem and how the product solves it
  • Consistency throughout all collateral
  • Implement PR, Social Media Marketing and other lead generation campaigns to build momentum
  • B2C: Acquire required certifications
  • Sales & Support Readiness campaign -
    • Market Definition - customer segments, strategic customers, tactical customers, customer persona
    • Sales & Support Tools - datasheets, roadmap, website, training, presentations, pricing sheet, competitive analysis & positioning, demos, reference accounts, case studies, feature / benefits, FAQs, Release Notes
Maintenance Phase The product is a cash cow. How do you maintain it?
  • Irate customers
  • Competition stealing customers away
  • Costly and delayed fixes to customer problems
  • Pro-actively keep in constant contact with customers -
    B2B: Regular management review meetings
    B2C: Regular meetings with channels
  • B2B: Customization should be only at configuration or API levels. Avoid multiple customized code-lines for different customers
End of Life Take the product out of the market
  • Customers caught by surprise
  • Plan for product EOL atleast a year in advance
  • Create a product transition roadmap for customers
  • Inform customers and work with them to transition them to the new product (internal or external) well ahead of EOL