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Complete Idiot Guide New Product Developm Paperback – Mar 21 1997

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha Books (March 21 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028614895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028614892
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,666,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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The "The Complete Idiots Guide to New Product Development" is a broad treatment of the subject of Product Development. It was first published in 1997 so it is relatively up-to-date, but not cutting edge. The book covers many topics from types of new products to Market Research. The book is aimed at small companies and corporations, managers in big companies that want an understanding of the development process, and entrepreneurs. The book tends to address the small business that needs a new product but does not do this sort of thing very often. I believe a manager in a large corporation would be better served by a book like "The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development" that is dedicated to corporate product development processes.
The book has the trappings of the "Idiot's" series of books that I am not a big fan of. That is to say there are cute little cartoons to get a point across along with countless sidebars that highlight ideas from a section. You can get a good idea of the content by skimming these sidebars in a half-hour. There are two Tables of Contents, one simplified and one detailed. There is a pull out reference card. Some of these effects are nice but when you are bombarded by them page after page you begin to feel that this format wastes a lot of space at the expense of content.
The "The Compete Idiot's Guide...." is a good first book to pick up for a small manufacturer with one product and looking to expand. It is not a "how-to" handbook but more of a big picture "why-to" book. There are quite a number of references in the form of periodicals, books, and Internet resources that will lead to further investigation. To remain timely the Internet resources do not have URL's, but more general references that should help begin a search on the Internet.
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Leave it to a Certified Management Consultant to put the best advice and writings of Robert Cooper (Winning at New Products, 1993; Portfolio Management for New Products, 1997) into For Dummies "shrink-wrap". The content is not new, there are no new "silver bullet" insights -- just repackaged content from the past decade of PDMA (Product Development Management Association) research and conferences, and Management Roundtable seminars.
I bought my copy for $5.99 at the local discount bookshop. It was worth that just to have an amusing "most all in one place" reference with such amusing jacket promises as: "Idiot-proof steps for making the most of market research"...
Get the real references first.
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This book lives up to its billing as providing quick and easy guidance, having idiot-proof steps and offering down to earth advice. It's ideal for the novice to become acquainted with new product development because it gives the reader a complete overview of it. However, it will be of little help to the seasoned practitioner or someone looking for in-depth information about an aspect of new product development. The only shortcoming of the book was in Chapter 20 about product naming. While this chapter gives an overview of nuances, it does not clarify the few key points needed to have an outstanding name for a new product. Nevertheless, on the whole this book is good for the basics and I would recommend it for this reason.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa092421c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0324f3c) out of 5 stars Robert Cooper's writings chewed up and "Dummy"-ized May 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Leave it to a Certified Management Consultant to put the best advice and writings of Robert Cooper (Winning at New Products, 1993; Portfolio Management for New Products, 1997) into For Dummies "shrink-wrap". The content is not new, there are no new "silver bullet" insights -- just repackaged content from the past decade of PDMA (Product Development Management Association) research and conferences, and Management Roundtable seminars.
I bought my copy for $5.99 at the local discount bookshop. It was worth that just to have an amusing "most all in one place" reference with such amusing jacket promises as: "Idiot-proof steps for making the most of market research"...
Get the real references first.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03454b0) out of 5 stars Overview coverage, short on details Aug. 5 2002
By Stephen Funk - Published on Amazon.com
The "The Complete Idiots Guide to New Product Development" is a broad treatment of the subject of Product Development. It was first published in 1997 so it is relatively up-to-date, but not cutting edge. The book covers many topics from types of new products to Market Research. The book is aimed at small companies and corporations, managers in big companies that want an understanding of the development process, and entrepreneurs. The book tends to address the small business that needs a new product but does not do this sort of thing very often. I believe a manager in a large corporation would be better served by a book like "The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development" that is dedicated to corporate product development processes.
The book has the trappings of the "Idiot's" series of books that I am not a big fan of. That is to say there are cute little cartoons to get a point across along with countless sidebars that highlight ideas from a section. You can get a good idea of the content by skimming these sidebars in a half-hour. There are two Tables of Contents, one simplified and one detailed. There is a pull out reference card. Some of these effects are nice but when you are bombarded by them page after page you begin to feel that this format wastes a lot of space at the expense of content.
The "The Compete Idiot's Guide...." is a good first book to pick up for a small manufacturer with one product and looking to expand. It is not a "how-to" handbook but more of a big picture "why-to" book. There are quite a number of references in the form of periodicals, books, and Internet resources that will lead to further investigation. To remain timely the Internet resources do not have URL's, but more general references that should help begin a search on the Internet.
Because the book is aimed at small companies there are advice and hints on how to deal with the New Product Development "Team" issues. While this is pretty good advice for people in those situations, it is less valuable advice for an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur may still need to hire someone to help with a marketing plan, engineering, or production, but those people will be contracted which changes the dynamics quite a bit.
There are several chapters on how to deal with patents, trademarks, and other Intellectual Property issues. Too, there are hints on how to name the product, and sell to the distribution channel. The chapters are peppered with interesting business cases to make a point.
The author, Edwin E. Bobrow runs is a business consultant and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU. He has written a number of business books. Bobrow's uses his business knowledge to introduce concepts such as product development gates and team product development. For many entrepreneurs, this may be overkill because the product "gate" system is too complex for many small entrepreneurial projects. Still, if you would like a quick overview of the entire process of creating a new product and bringing it to market this is a worthwhile overview. One thing is for sure, in this genre you can't beat the price.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05a6cfc) out of 5 stars Good for the Basics Nov. 6 2000
By Steve Cartozian - Published on Amazon.com
This book lives up to its billing as providing quick and easy guidance, having idiot-proof steps and offering down to earth advice. It's ideal for the novice to become acquainted with new product development because it gives the reader a complete overview of it. However, it will be of little help to the seasoned practitioner or someone looking for in-depth information about an aspect of new product development. The only shortcoming of the book was in Chapter 20 about product naming. While this chapter gives an overview of nuances, it does not clarify the few key points needed to have an outstanding name for a new product. Nevertheless, on the whole this book is good for the basics and I would recommend it for this reason.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0345444) out of 5 stars Don't be an Idiot When it comes to Innovation Jan. 23 2006
By Bill Bazik - Published on Amazon.com
There is now a small library of books available that claim to guide you through the steps for introducing a new product. Many are designed as texts for college level business courses. If you need good sound advice and guidance now, today, this book may be your ticket. The author is the president of a 28-year-old management consulting company and he has the ability to translate the concepts and terminology involved into everyday language.

The book immediately makes two fundamental points. One, for the last twenty years the failure rate for new products has held at about 90%. Two, whether the new product is created by a large corporation or a one person enterprise, all too often the product is created and then a market is sought. This is the opposite of what the author advocates. He stresses "find things (people) need to buy and then make them."

If the odds against new products are so great, why try? Because success can be highly profitable and it is more fun, more exciting, to lead than to follow. In todays fast pace world you really have little choice; you generate new products or you sink.

As the book title indicates, it is the author's objective to keep you from feeling like an idiot when you try to understand the "nuts and bolts of new product development." Each chapter contains boxes called "Buzzwords" explaining the terms that are in current vogue. Also, boxes labeled "Jump Start" offer key information and the "False Start" boxes cite common mistakes. Each chapter begins with an "In This Chapter" box summarizing what will be discussed. Many examples from the business world are given in the "Prototype" boxes. Each chapter ends with a brief "The Least You Need to Know."

The author notes in his chapter on market research that you should use it, but treat it as a model only. He calls attention to IBM's introduction of the IBM PC. Their marketing people predicted only 100,000 people, worldwide, would buy it! Today, of course, tens of millions of personal computers are in use worldwide.

In our increasingly technological world, inventors and entrepreneurs are often caught up in the "if you build it, they will buy it syndrome." They are then shocked to find their customers neither need it nor want it. Again, the author stresses listening to the customer. You must understand how the customer perceives value.

A surprising number of new products are priced too low on the theory that a low price will generate high sales volume and thereby lower the per unit production costs. In many cases "skimming" or setting a high initial or premium price might be a better strategy. This does not deter "purchase leaders" and when the price is later lowered it gives the perception of high value. Note that it is often difficult or impossible to later raise the price on new items.

The chapter on patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks is informative and up to date. The author carefully notes patents are an "offensive right. That is, you must sue to exclude others from using your patent. He cautions regarding the difficulties of maintaining trade secrets and the difficulty of prosecuting an infringer. He wonders if Edison would have died a more wealthy man if he had chosen to license some of his inventions instead of setting up companies to manufacture them. The author estimates a typical independent inventor should be able to risk a $200,000 loss if he decides to venture instead of licensing.

Incidentally under "Buzzwords" he notes "angels," or part-time private investors, are also called "doctors-and-dentists" because so many angels literally are doctors and dentists.

An interesting buzzword used by inventors is "ramifying." That is the "process of modifying it in order to make it faster, cheaper, better, bigger, smaller, lighter--whatever."

The author believes that as a nation we learned a powerful lesson in the 1980s. Growth was then pursued by mergers and not by innovation. This transferred wealth but did not create wealth. Today we are returning to innovation and new product creation.

Read this book and you won't feel like an idiot when you read or hear new product discussions involving terms such as "scoping, beta version, skimming, positioning, ramifying, target consumer, PI advertising, cherry picking, four Cs, monadic testing, metrics," and others.

True, you could bring a product to market without knowing any of these terms or the concepts they describe, but that would be somewhat like doing business in a foreign country without knowing the language. The book is easy to read, not mathematical, and for the low price involved you may well save hundreds of times its price by not taking the wrong paths.


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