The Problem That Product Managers Have With “New”
What do you think of your product? Is it sad that your product doesn’t have a new shiny effect? Do you wish that you could manage a new product? I am sure we all have felt this way at some point. This is a situation where we need to be careful about what we wish for. Apple recently provided a great example of the difficulties that can come with managing a product launch.
The Problems with a New Watch
Apple is a hugely successful company, as we all know. Selling iPads and iPhones make them a lot of money. They realize that nothing lasts forever, so they have to constantly create new products to maintain their sales momentum. The solution was to make the Apple Watch.
The product was a completely new product and faced all the challenges associated with a new product. The Apple product managers knew that they faced a severe challenge in the initial stages of product design. The revolutionary new product needed a reason to exist. The Apple Watch is required to be a health-focused product. The Apple Watch would track the wearer’s health, including blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels. These features were not included in the final product.
They were excluded for a variety of reasons. Some of them didn’t work reliably. Some were simply too complicated to fit in the Apple Watch. Others would have been able to catch the attention of the government who likes medical devices to be regulated. All of this means that Apple’s product managers had to come up with reasons why people would purchase their new product.
Product managers face new challenges because of the nature of their products.
The word “new” can be both thrilling and frightening. It is exciting because potential customers will notice your product and not have to do much. It is terrifying because you don’t know exactly what to do – no one has done it before.
These are the same challenges that Apple product managers face. The solution they have chosen to this problem is to try to make the Apple Watch just a bit of everything. Apple Watch is a fashionable accessory that provides information in small chunks without you having to take your iPhone out of your hand. It also allows you to use Apple Pay to buy things.
This is a risky strategy. There is always the risk that potential customers won’t be able to understand why you would buy something that is “new”. Apple’s Apple Watch isn’t a guaranteed success. It will need to be very close to an iPhone in order to function correctly. This is because the Apple Watch will not be able to do anything the iPhone cannot. It will also open a new world between the disposable worlds of consumer electronics and the more durable world of high fashion. It is indeed a brave new world!
What Does All This Mean for You?
It is said that new is always better than older. Maybe not always, though, in the world of product managers. I believe that all of us are attracted to new things. They present both a challenge as well as an opportunity. Apple’s product managers know that sometimes, the new world can be very frightening.
Apple launched the Apple iWatch in the first half of 2015. This product was created to be used in conjunction with the iPad and iPhone. The new product was new, and nobody had seen it before. Apple product managers had to communicate the benefits to potential customers. The original plan was to make the Apple Watch a medical device. However, they were forced to scrap this idea. They are now trying to appeal to many different types.
Will the Apple Watch become a huge success? We will have to wait and see. The product’s early users will likely discover a specific application for the product, and the product managers will quickly take this information to heart. Apple product managers can only wish that their product is successful and goes from being “new” to being “successful as soon as possible.