Tag Archives: New Products

New Product Development: Sausage or Legos?

Why are new products typically treated like sausage? When developing new products, most companies keep the development process entirely under wraps. Prior to the product launch, everything happens behind a curtain of secrecy until the moment when—voila!—the product is “ready” to be presented in its fully-realized form to the world. As a result, even when we look at those products that we love the most, we know nothing about how the product came to be.

I know there are lots of good reasons why companies shroud their product development in secrecy. One obvious yet still-significant concern is security.  If you allow even the slightest peek into product development, there’s a good chance that some plant in Taiwan will have a copycat on the streets in a matter of hours.  And I suppose you also surrender some control when you let people behind the curtain: if you show video of a product that hasn’t yet launched, there is a chance the product will flop and be honored with YouTube videos that remix your footage to a circus soundtrack.

But this near-categorical cover-up of the creation process forgets the fact that most adults grew up playing with Legos. Continue reading