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June 2010

The Product Pulse: What's in a Name?


Welcome to The Product Pulse, our new blog focused on innovation and optimizing the product portfolio.

As you probably know, we didn't just pick this name out of a hat. We held a contest open to the world to help us pick the right name. We had come up with what we thought were some great ideas… but "The Product Pulse" came from one of you. Which is so fitting, because we want this to be a community of interaction on cool topics that matter to the product development community.

So, what about this particular name and tagline manifested the Eureka moment? It came down to a couple of key words, to wit:

  • "Pulse" -- product development teams are living organisms, they have a pulse that is rarely in a state of relaxation (in fact, most of the development teams that I have been a part of spend much more of their time closer to peak heart rate!). Cranking out new products and maintaining existing ones, working to keep existing customers delighted, striving to attract new customers, and driving to establish competitive advantage -- these all keep the heart pumping. My guess is that we are all accustomed to the "pulse."
  • "Innovation" -- here's a loaded word for sure. Innovation has reemerged after a period of cost-focused survival as the number one priority for most product organizations. Innovation is at the heart of what we do, it's the payoff that gets most of us come to work every day, to bring new ideas to market in a way that fuels the success of our customers and our companies. Seems pertinent for us to talk "innovation."
  • Finally, the "Product Portfolio" -- this is where the rubber hits the road. None of us have the luxury of being able to focus exclusively on introducing the newest, latest products to market. Whether or not we refer to it as such, we all manage a "portfolio" of new, mature, successful, struggling, and long-in-the tooth products. How we optimize our performance given this reality is typically the most challenging aspect of our jobs. The everyday trade-offs demanded by our portfolios is our reality and we hope to share ideas on managing this process.

So that's where this blog is starting: rooted in these concepts. We look forward to seeing what it grows into, with your participation. We hope you will find this to be a unique place to engage with peers and thought leaders on the full range of topics that encompass the idea-to-launch-to-ongoing support processes associated with maximizing innovation and managing the product portfolio. Ultimately we hope that you learn (and share!) a few things that make your team more successful and your job a little easier. Thanks for joining us!