Perhaps no company has been as good at creating a cycle of continuous product development than Apple. There is no better example of that than how it has evolved the iPod.
Remember the first iPods? They were white and had that trackwheel on them and an LCD screen. They were a huge hit. But that wasn’t enough. The screen got bigger and better. It went from just playing songs to being a device to access the Internet to being a phone and one of the most ubiquitous devices on the planet.
Apple is a shining example of why products and services should not be treated as statues. They are living and breathing organisms that need attention and affection to grow.
Product development should be an ongoing priority, and should be looked at from all angles, including how customers view your products and services.
Companies should engage in conversations with customers on a regular basis about how products and services can be improved. Feedback should be filtered by asking specific questions, instead of just asking for general likes and dislikes.
From within a company, product development should be more than something that happens when the CEO daydreams while stuck in traffic. Product development needs coordination and regular attention. All departments should be involved and everyone’s opinion should matter.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, nothing should be off the table. If Apple can take the risks it takes, then you can, too.
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