December 2012


Key management principles of Alfred P. Sloane, as outlined by Peter Drucker


-          Management is a profession, similarly to law or medicine

-          The manager serves the enterprise who is the client

-          Professional managers make decisions through analysis of facts

-          Managers judge personnel performance, which is the key tool to accomplishment

-          Managers seek the widest diversity in personnel talent, limited only by performance and integrity through example

-          Successful managers encourage dissent and conflict, because without these, there is no understanding and no good decision. The key is to elicit dissent that gains understanding and then consensus

-          A professional manager is a servant who bares great responsibility


Upon these key tenets derives the entire basis of good management

December 30, 2012


As part of my search for updated product management thinking, I have recently registered with Boston Product Management Association (BPMA).  The website includes a lot of useful information including the e-book entitled Product Manager Career Secrets by Dr. Jim Anderson.  Clearly, he knows his subject, however, the most resonant comment to me is that “ the heart of the (Product Management) job is the requirement that you act as an information hub. Whether it’s providing requirements to your product design team, creating a presentation, or simply launching a product at the next sales meeting, you spend most of your time communicating with other people in one fashion or another.” This is the truly “transferable skill” contained in the job, which transcends industries and technologies.



June 6, 2012


According to the Fredonia Group Report, Implantable Devices to 2015, "US demand for implantable medical devices is forecast to increase 7.7 percent annually to $52 billion in 2015, benefiting from technological advances and the development of next generation devices that should increase patient and provider confidence in implant products." This growth is in the context of a higly concentrated medical device industry, dominated by key players such as Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, Synthes and several others who controlled more than 74 percent of the market in 2010.


The supply chain to this growing but concentrated market, including contract manufacturers, "...have broadened their capabilities and associated business definitions into new messages of “one-stop shopping,” “full service,” and “total solutions.” Many focused-capability specialists, who had sought competitive advantage by producing products with distinction from others available in the market, have been acquired by contract manufacturers seeking to achieve breadth. This transition of the historic suppliers along with the influx of new entrants is creating a wealth of broad-line manufacturing generalists and reducing the number of focused-industry specialists..." according to Peter Harris of Cadence Inc.  This represents a drive by key players to gain competitive strength by acquiring focused/differentiated suppliers in several market segments, and then seeking to obtain cost synergies from the combined companies.  


May 4, 2012


The Industrial Marketing Practice of Boos-Hamilton has published a series of articles ( about Product Marketing in companies manufacturing technical/industrial products.  They state that Product Marketing in such companies should move from primarily a coordination activity among the key internal functions – sales, R&D, manufacturing – to that of driving product development throughout its life-cycle.  Because life-cycles are becoming shorter, it is essential that customer insights and product requirements are defined quickly and efficiently to the organization.  Successful companies will accomplish this by integrating and blending capabilities from their most critical functions, especially marketing, in smart and unique ways. This particular Blog Post will address new product definition.


To achieve a more responsive and efficient product development process, the Product Manager (PM) must drive the timing of product innovations, pricing, channel strategy, and everything else that affects the success of product portfolios. A key success factor is having a robust new Product Introduction Process (NPI) that defines a comprehensive customer requirements up front.


Elements of the product definition process driven by the PM include: 1). establishment of product criteria/goals with internal/key functions; 2). performance of Secondary Research, that is gathering market information from competitors, trade organizations, patent applications, related research reports, etc. for the targeted customers based on criteria established in step 1); 3). development of a primary Voice of the Customer (VOC) Interview Candidate List; 4). management of key internal functions to create and finalize the customer interview questionnaire. A key goal of VOC is to probe the key factors shaping customer minds/views. PM conducts primary interviews, covering a group of current/potential customers in the targeted segments. The results of the research and VOC questionnaires drives the new product’s specifications.

Feb. 20, 2012


Attended Reinventing Fire lecture by Amory Lovins who says the US can be oil free by 2050 with existing technologies (and good marketing!)

Feb. 15, 2012


"3-P's" are only the start for successful technical products sales; e-commerce marketing must be used to access all of the buying cycle