07/31/2011, 09:52 AM
In reading some of these posts there is a delightful innocence with regard to the commercial reality of a large corporate undertaking a new product launch - i.e. the Touchpad.
In one corner you have Product Marketing, in another Field Marketing, another for R&D and manufacturing and a further bunch of people wondering where the investment will have a return.
So manufacturing agree a date, based on a best guess as to when the new product will be out of manufacturing (and accessories too) - that kicks of a myriad of processes. Product marketing plan a launch, get brochures, packaging, white papers, case studies - all with a date set in the future. Field marketing kick off with a press launch, pre-production examples get shown to the press (Feb 2011?) and start planning advertising slots, celebrities, media exposure - the launch date is set in stone. The marketing vision is creating desire in the consumers mind for a purchase decision.....
In the background R&D are making changes, software development is never, ever finished and manufacturing capacity is committed - parts and components are ordered - that launch date is almost there - product finished or not.
Launch date comes - the Exec team know it probably isn't finished 'marathon not a sprint comments', finished goods inventory is sat on the shelves and customers want to buy - and we bought didn't we?
Now in the 21st Century no company expecting to survive gets a product onto the shelves 'finished' and then figures out the marketing launch - the product replacement cycles are too fast - 6 months to the next model announcement perhaps?
Yeah, it's really frustrating - maddening even but the above is the absolute stark and massively simplified reality of launching a high volume consumer electronics product.
Personally - and I'm in no way related to HP or its reseller channel either - I think HP have done a pretty reasonable job of getting the product to market and creating a buzz - the next 90 days will prove whether we all made good or bad buying decisions.