Apple Watch: Its about the “Do” and that is Product Management’s Job

     

In Mark Gurman’s piece about Apple Watch’s retail sales pitch (http://9to5mac.com/2015/03/03/apple-watchs-retail-sales-pitch-revealed-3-key-features-switch-to-iphone-focus-on-bands/), he says that Apple is training its employees to focus on “three key features”.  And Apple tells their employees to:

“Listen for cues that reveal what they (customers) care about. Then highlight the ways Apple Watch will add value to their life… How do you see yourself using Apple Watch?” Apple’s employees are taught to ask.

By Apple training their employees to ask these simple questions, product managers and product marketing managers can learn a lot.

Here is why:

Traditionally, this is how a company builds, markets and sells a product:

How Most Companies Develop and Market a Product or Service
First companies build the product.  Then just before they launch the product or service (or in some cases they launched it already and it does not sell very well) they then try to figure out:
  • Who they built the product for (personas)
  • How it might be used (use cases)
  • Who the competition is
  • What the features are that were built into the product
  • How to position it in the market
  • What markets to target
  • What is the messages that will be used to try to sell the product

All too frequently, by being late with answers to these questions the end result is failure.

A better way to build products is probably the way Apple does it:

How Apple develops and markets its products
From the “flow” above, Apple, on the other hand, seems to figure out first what people “do”!
 
  • Why they do it
  • When they do it
  • Where they do it
  • How they do it

If they find in their research lots of people doing the same kinds of things… then they look at the technologies available or that could be developed or acquired, that would enable people to get their “dos” done faster, better, and more enjoyably than ever before.

Think about what Apple has done over the years:

Think personal computing: Macintosh

Mobile music delivery: iPod

Portable computer that does more than just make phone calls… Internet in your pocket: iPhone

Mobile media delivery device: iPad

And now a computer output/input device on your wrist, Apple’s most personal device:  Apple Watch

By computer, I am just using that as a shorthand for all the things people do on their computers… Get information, communicate, entertain, learn etc.

So at Apple it’s all about the “do”.  Not what competitors are doing.  Not about market sizes or even market share.  Its about the “do”.

To learn more about “Do” go here.

About The Author

David Fradin has trained thousands of managers throughout the world. He infuses his workshops with insights and experiences gained as a expert product leader, product manager and product marketing manager at companies like Apple and HP. He was classically trained as an HP Product Manager and was then recruited by Apple to bring the first hard disk drive on a PC to market. As a result of his leadership and management skills, Apple promoted him first to Apple /// Group Product Manager and later Business Unit Manager at the same organizational level at that time as Steve Jobs. His forthcoming book “Building Insanely Great Products” and these workshops covers the founding values, vision, product life cycle and management employed by Apple at its founding and which it returned to in 1997 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple. What students will learn in these workshops is exactly what has made Apple the most valuable company in the world.

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