The Complete Product

William Davidow wrote Marketing High Technology in 1986. While we have seen many phases in technology since then, its a timeless piece of work on how to think about building great products. The fundamental message of the book is that a product development organization has to think about building a 'complete product', not a product. A product is something that a client can buy. Whereas, a 'complete product' addresses all the things around and related to the product: market fit, distribution channels, sales, service, marketing, and positioning.

His wisdom includes things like:

-Marketing must invent complete products and drive them to commanding positions in defensible market segments.
-The cost of creating a complete product is often many times the cost of developing the product.
-Serviceability must be designed into a product
-Great products make great salespeople.
-It's not a product without a distribution channel.
-Great products need a soul.
-Companies fail because they are incapable of delivering total customer satisfaction.

I believe in timeless advice. Davidow's work on a complete product certainly is.

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