Product development as a task may involve simply modifying an pre-existing product, or its look and feel. Alternatively, it can mean the creation of an entirely new product that satisfies a market niche, or potential opportunity.
In terms of our example portals business, the aim of our product development activity is to create new products and services in order to establish and then dominate the emerging technology industry verticals.
There are four stages in the lifetime of a product:
LAUNCH – The introduction of any new product into the marketplace is the first stage of its lifecycle.
GROWTH – This is the stage where once launched and established within the marketplace the subscriptions garnered and churn rate is minimal. It is during this period that further investment into the next iteration of the product takes place.
MATURITY – At this stage of the product lifecycle, the product hits its potential. In the case of our example membership portals then this either equates to maxing out on the number of subscribers, or the period where the product is at its most competitive in the industry and of most use to subscribers.
DECLINE – This is the final stage in the lifecycle of a product. A products decline could be down to market saturation within the field, a change of emphasis in the industry, or simply a more competitive (better) product being available to potential purchasers.
If you do not have the next iteration of the product ready by this stage, its potentially game over.