Continued innovation: Challenges for product managers

Dr. Jim Anderson, also known as the “Billion Dollar Product Manager”, recently wrote a post that I found to be quite interesting and relevant to the issues surrounding new product innovation. If you need an example of wow an industry that uses continued innovation to stay current and remain successful- look no further than the video game industry. Anderson clearly outlines the challenges that product managers in the video game industry face.

This article really got me thinking: Given these challenges, complexities and immense pressure to deliver in such a fast-changing and fast-paced market, how do video game companies manage to survive and evolve?

Continued innovation is possible because they are highly in tune with their customer needs.

Continued innovation is fuelled by customer insight

Anyone who lives with a serious “gamer” is very aware of the addictive nature of video games and the extreme anticipation that accompanies new game releases. Video game fanatics are deeply involved in the video game community. The high volume of online chatter that accompanies the debut of video game releases, presents product teams with opportunities to tap into that insight and leverage it into their continued innovation efforts.

Blizzard Entertainment, one of the largest producers of video games in the world, takes this step a further. Blizzard not only leverages customer feedback but they also allow customers to fully become co-innovators. World of Warcraft (WoW) is a Blizzard game that continues to sustain the undivided attention of billions of gamers across the world. So why is it so successful year after year? The editor of WoW successfully instilled a customer-centric business model right from the onset. WoW users are involved in all aspects of this game’s evolution. Gaurav Bhalla, a prominent thought leader in the co-creation space, explains that WoW possesses all the fundamental elements of co-creation: “Blizzard Entertainment uses co-creation to fix glitches, create new characters, and new gaming experiences for their legions of fans.”

Organizations can definitely learn a thing or two about product management from Blizzard.

OneDesk offers the right set of integrated business tools to ensure your team stays connected with your customers across all stages of co-creation and product development.

To learn more about co-creation read the following posts:
Co-Creation and New Product Development
Customer-driven product development
Social innovation: Product development 2.0
Co-creative wisdom for modern enterprises
Ideational Implications: Investing in Intangibles

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