What lessons can you learn from the iPhone, look past the hype and see it for what it is — a number of great case studies wrapped up in a well-designed and potentially revolutionary product.
Even if the iPhone launch is not related to your market or industry there is still a lot that can be learned, product managers can take away valuable lessons around what to do and what not to do. Less than a week after its launch, there are already thousands of articles on the product design process, reviews from experts, and commentary from actual customers. These are all data points that can serve as valuable input and perspective on all products.
iPhone touches on the very essence of Apple — the ability to Think Different.
Apple, has consistently shown the ability to take a step back and rethink the entire idea around a product. Once you got past the candy colored shell, the iMac was a simple but effective “how did we not think of this?” challenge to the standard desktop computer. Rather than loading more features on the MP3 players of the day, the iPod was groundbreaking in that it recognized the value in simplifying the entire music experience — from CD to computer to portable player to online music store.
Whether a success or failure in the long run, the iPhone shows Apple’s ability to think differently about what a cell phone is and how a person interacts with it. Think about your own product — would your customers call it groundbreaking or innovative or see it as drastically different from the competition? Or would it be marginally better (or worse) than what the competitors have to offer, easily substitutable on features and functionality and capabilities? Does it matter to your product and your company?
Look for the many real stories that exist about how Apple has designed, developed, and marketed it. See what you can learn that can translate to your business. Analyze what they did well and see how you can adapt based on it; understand what they did not do well and plan for how you can avoid it. Use one of the most publicized product launches of the past several years as an opportunity to improve your product.
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