Buggy whips were integral to the transportation industry of the late 1800s. If you manufactured buggy whips you needed to reinvent yourself and your products. The transportation industry grew, but buggy whips were not the critical element. Some manufacturers survived because they reinvented themselves. Some had moderate success and some went under. The end result was that you needed to be in an evolutionary mode to insure your product’s success.
Product inspiration is the result of people working hard and being motivated.
Do NOT Invent Buggy Whips presents a way of looking at products; not only how to conceive a product but also how to position the product. This book is a “how to” guide and if you follow the steps in this book you can work your way through a product strategy and product development.
review by P. Hooper, U.S. Review:
"We're trying to distinguish ourselves from the other potential competitors and it is difficult to really figure out what will create enough sizzle."
Thurber's latest book targets entrepreneurs who are interested in bringing new products to market. He warns that one should not invest in a product that is likely to soon become obsolete. Like the buggy whip, many products die due to advances in technology, but Thurber asserts that there is a solution: reinvention. In basic terms, reinvention means to take a product and change it in a way that makes it unique and up-to-date. The cell phone is one such example.
Thurber outlines three basic questions that are instrumental in helping a businessperson successfully develop and market an idea. The first question, "What if?" leads one to flesh out an idea. "Who cares?”" refers to the consumers and whether the idea is something people will want to purchase. "Market size?" addresses whether there is a big enough audience for the product or service. These questions are applied to a variety of case studies to show how this analysis works with real product development. Thurber then demonstrates why some products have succeeded and others have failed.
Other related topics are covered, such as venture capital, product design process, and marketing. He gives clear, easy to understand, and detailed instructions on coming up with a model for ideas and deciding whether a product is viable. Although it is packed with solid business advice and marketing strategies, one does not need an MBA to understand this book. It offers invaluable, straightforward advice to anyone striving to invent a product and successfully market it.