Limited-risk products in high volatile sectors

A few months ago I was reading the book Welcome to Hard Times from one of my favourite writers, the great E.L.Doctorow, which narrates the hard life of the first villages in the Wild West to be created in the midst of a gold rush. Many people came called by the possibility of finding gold, but really the chances of that case were very low and the risks were very high. At the same time, the book describes the lives of some of the "service providers" of these mining settlements: the supply depot, the saloon, the blacksmith, and so on. In a passage from the book, one of the miners complains that all the money he earns from extracting the gold is spent on supplies and “entertainment” ... These service providers manage to square the circle: to have a recurring income and limited risk (not counting those of operating in the wild west, of course) in a sector with very high risk as was the gold seekers. Is this example extrapolable to our days? Can a product or service be designed for a high-risk sector and limit at the same time the exposure to that risk? Is it possible to enter a volatile sector and achieve a stable income?

The real threat of the electric car

All of us who believe that the electric car (EV) is the future of transport focus our hopes on the rapid reduction of battery costs that will make the average price of an EV in a few years is lower than the traditional internal combustion (ICE). But this scenario has a small problem: it assumes that the ICEs do not improve (or do so at the rate we know). And what is clear is that a much improved ICE in consumption, noise and price would be the real competitor of EVs. Something similar already happened in the late 90's with cable and ADSL...

Best free tools to build your own CI system

What does it take to set up a Competitive Intelligence (CI) system? Is there specific software? is it very complicated? is it expensive? ...these are some of the most frequently asked questions that arise when someone is considering launching a CI project. One thing is clear: tools must be at the service of the process and never the other way around.

Are Energy Storage the new data centers?

A few weeks ago I was attending the most important solar fair in Europe, Intersolar, in Munich. In addition to solar energy, this fair is a reference in e-mobility and energy storage. And the feeling I was left with is that batteries and their applications for energy storage are the new market boom. And many of the things I saw reminded me of the dot-com boom 20 years ago when, among other things, datacenters emerged as a large-scale business model. And that flashback, in addition to making me aware of the unrelenting pace of time, gave me the opportunity to analyze this analogy a little more in depth.

Madonna: Like a Product

What is product management? what does it consist of? how does it help to improve the competitiveness of a product? Some of these questions and others I tried to answer in the first post of this same blog but it's clear that either I wasn't very clear or it wasn't very read because people keep asking me what WeMake does. So I will try to explain it better through a case study: Madonna. Product management references have changed over time. In the 1980s, large industrial conglomerates such as GE or Siemens set an example in the handling of various successful products. Who would now be the benchmarks in this field? Everyone thinks of Apple as a great brand and product creator, but I think that the ones who are best managing products right now are the sport&artist management companies. Large players such as CAA or Excel mgmt are probably the ones who more intensively deploy all the tools of product management and marketing.

5 keys to trademark registration

One of the steps where most doubts arise when launching a new product is the issue of trademark protection or registration. Let's review below the main doubts that usually appear: Is it really necessary to register the trademark? It depends. The aim of registration is to ensure that no one will use the same name or logo in the same sector and/or market. The first thing to do, therefore, is to assess whether this danger really exists in each case. There are consumer sectors where the brand is key to differentiating itself and there are other more industrial sectors where the brand is more descriptive.

How to avoid born-to-die products

If there is one thing that characterizes the market today, it is its dynamism. Product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter in order to adapt to changing market needs and competitive pressures. But there are still very complex products whose development cycles are very long, so they are at high risk of suffering the product manager's biggest nightmare: a “born to die” product. Let us look at the case of the market for space rockets to launch satellites. These rockets have development cycles of more than 8 years.  ESA and ULA have been the traditional dominators with a quasi-monopoly. When both launched the development of their new generation of rockets, SpaceX was only Elon Musk's dream: to design reusable rockets and reduce the cost of launching by 50%. Hardly anyone believed it was possible. Traditional manufacturers launched their new developments with objectives and specifications suited to the old semi-monopolistic rules. But sometimes dreams come true...

Product management: what, how and why?

We started a new professional project and a blog with it, and what better way to start than by talking about WeMake Consulting's mission. Ever since I embarked on this new adventure, the question I have heard most often is, "And what is your business going to be about? When I replied that I wanted to offer product management consulting, my interlocutors showed a great range of poker faces. The problem is that expressions such as product management, product roadmap management, product marketing, etc., have often been used as catch-all designations, which were as useful for roles in a marketing department as they were for operations or even technology. Add to this the fact that few companies have departments focused on product lifecycle management, and there is complete confusion about roles and responsibilities. In my opinion the best definition of product management is to ensure that the product is competitive. This simple definition comprises complex aspects:

ProductManiacs: Fortnite

I intend to open with this article a series where I will highlight certain aspects of product management with actual examples. When I considered this series, I thought of the typical examples used in the PM: Apple, Under Armour, Tesla, Inditex... and I was thinking of them when my children interrupted me by talking about a game that, in plain language, was "killing it". It was Fortnite and I, of course, had not heard of it until that moment and did not suspect that, from that moment on, it would be like another member of the family. If you have children between 7 and 18, you'll already know what the game is about: 100 players are on an island and only one can survive. It is played online and is highly addictive. The truth is that, like the Pokemon Go phenomenon a few years ago, I am very interested in understanding the reason for these trends, as I am of the opinion that luck cannot explain everything.

The 5 basic cost-out steps applied to the electric car

I'm an electric car enthusiast. I have already decided that the next car I buy (or rent, although I leave that for another post) will be 100% electric. But as I have a limited budget, I follow with great interest the evolution of costs and/or prices in a sector in full expansion. And it is extremely interesting to see the movements of the different manufacturers to accelerate the learning curve that leads to cost/km parity with internal combustion cars. In the cost-out, as in any complex issue, it is highly recommended to start from a very simple and common sense structure. Here are 5 simple steps to implement a cost reduction program: