A product teardown, or teardown, is the act of disassembling a product, such that it helps to identify its component parts, chip & system functionality, component costing information. For products having'secret' technology, such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, the process may be secret. For others, including consumer electronics, the results are disseminated through photographs and component lists so that others can make use of the information without having to disassemble the product themselves; this information is important to designers of semiconductors, batteries, packaging companies, integrated design firms, semiconductor fabs, the systems they operate within. This information can be of interest to hobbyists, but can be used commercially by the technical community to find out, for example, what semiconductor components are being utilized in consumer electronic products, such as the Wii video game console or Apple's iPhone; such knowledge can aid understanding of how the product works, including innovative design features, can facilitate estimating the bill of materials.
The financial community therefore has an interest in teardowns, as knowing how a company's products are built can help guide a stock valuation. Manufacturers are not allowed to announce what components are present in a product due to non-disclosure agreements. Teardowns can play a part in evidence of use in court and litigation proceedings where a companies parts may have been used without their permission, counterfeited, or to show where intellectual property or patents might be infringed by another firms part or system. Identifying semiconductor components in systems has become more difficult over the past years; the most notable change started with Apple's 8GB iPod nano, which were repackaged with Apple branding. This makes it more difficult to identify the actual device manufacturer and function of the component without performing a'decap' – removing the outer packaging to analyze the die within it. There are markings on the die inside the package that can lead experienced engineers to see who created the device and what functionality it performs in the system.
Reverse engineering iFixit
Software product management
Software product management is the discipline of building and managing software or digital products, taking into account life-cycle considerations and an audience. It is the discipline and business process which governs a product from its inception to the market or customer delivery and service in order to maximize revenue; this is in contrast to software, delivered in an ad hoc manner to a limited clientele, e.g. service. To develop and support a successful software product a business needs to solve a market problem, understand its market, identify the opportunity as well as develop and market an appropriate piece of software. Hence the need for product management as a core business function in software companies. Hardware and physical products companies may have a need for software product management, since software and digital systems are part of the delivery, such as when providing operating systems, supporting the physical product or software embedded in a device; the software product manager leads and manages one or several products from the inception to the phase-out in order to create customer value and deliver measurable business benefits.
He or she collaborates with cross-functional teams in order to build a product that fulfils a product vision and to turn it into business success. The role determines what products and features to build and is accountable for the business success within an entire product portfolio; the product manager develops the product roadmap and is responsible for the entire value chain of a product throughout its life cycle. Software product management roles can be further subdivided depending on the focus: Product owner, product marketing manager, technical product manager and strategic product manager. Software program managers focus on the project deliveries of engineering processes, documentation, execution and feedback. Software product managers can deliver better results by: Behaving like an “embedded CEO” Driving strategy and portfolio from market and customer value Being enthusiastic about their own product Having a profound understanding of the products' markets and portfolio Measuring the products' contribution on sales and profits Periodically checking assumptions such as business cases Taking risks, managing them Fostering teamwork based on lean product developments Software product management covers all steps from inception of a product to its end of life.
It consists of five major phases in the product life-cycle, namely: Strategy Concept phase Market entry Development EvolutionWithin these five phases it deals with the following aspects of a software product within a software and/or hardware company: Idea generation for a new software product, or for the next version of an existing product. Collection and prioritization of business and/or market requirements from prospects, customers of earlier versions of the product, domain experts, technology visionaries, market experts, products / solutions from competing vendors, etc. Crafting of Marketing Requirements Documents, or MRDs, which synthesize the requirements / needs of various stakeholders as outlined above. Using the MRD as a basis, come up with a product requirements document or PRD, as an input to the engineering team to build out the product. A PRD is not the same as a functional specification since it specifies what a product should do, but not how the product should do it. A PRD can be a collection of UML Use Cases, UML Activity Diagrams, HTML mockups, etc.
It can have other details such as the software development environment, the software deployment environment. Deliver the PRD to the software engineering team, manage conflicts between the business units, the sales teams, the engineering teams, as it applies to the software products to be built out. Once the software development gets into build / release cycle, conduct acceptance tests. Deal with the delivery of the product; this can vary from demonstrating the product to customers using web-based conferencing tools, to building product demonstrations, to other placement and promotion tactics. In Silicon Valley, these two aspects of marketing, sometimes pricing, are dealt with by Product Marketing Managers, as opposed to Product Managers. Once the product is deployed at a customer site, solicit customer feedback, report software bugs, pass these on back to engineering for subsequent build / release cycles, as the product stabilizes, matures. Perform competitive analysis as to how this product is behaving in the market, vis-a-vis other products catering to the same / similar customer segments.
In the software space, this might require the product manager to take the opinion of analysts, who can come from name brand market research firms like IDC, Forrester Research, Gartner Group. Solicit more features and benefits from the users of the software product, users of competitive products, from analysts and craft / synthesize these requirements for subsequent product build / release cycles, pass them on to the software engineering team; the above tasks can co-exist. For Product Managers to be efficient in the above tasks, they have to have both engineering and marketing skills. Hence Silicon Valley firms prefer engineers who are MBAs to do software product management. Industry and academia established a standard for software product management education. According to this consensus, a software prod
In industry, product lifecycle management is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. PLM integrates people, data and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise; the inspiration for the burgeoning business process now known as PLM came from American Motors Corporation. The automaker was looking for a way to speed up its product development process to compete better against its larger competitors in 1985, according to François Castaing, Vice President for Product Engineering and Development. Lacking the "massive budgets of General Motors and foreign competitors … AMC placed R&D emphasis on bolstering the product life cycle of its prime products." After introducing its compact Jeep Cherokee, the vehicle that launched the modern sport utility vehicle market, AMC began development of a new model, that came out as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The first part in its quest for faster product development was computer-aided design software system that made engineers more productive. The second part in this effort was the new communication system that allowed conflicts to be resolved faster, as well as reducing costly engineering changes because all drawings and documents were in a central database; the product data management was so effective that after AMC was purchased by Chrysler, the system was expanded throughout the enterprise connecting everyone involved in designing and building products. While an early adopter of PLM technology, Chrysler was able to become the auto industry's lowest-cost producer, recording development costs that were half of the industry average by the mid-1990s. During 1982-83, Rockwell International developed initial concepts of PDM and PLM for the B-1B bomber program; the system called Engineering Data System was augmented to interface with Computervision and CADAM systems to track part configurations and lifecycle of components and assemblies.
Computervison released implementing only the PDM aspects as the lifecycle model was specific to Rockwell and aerospace needs. PLM systems help organizations in coping with the increasing complexity and engineering challenges of developing new products for the global competitive markets. Product lifecycle management should be distinguished from'product life-cycle management'. PLM describes the engineering aspect of a product, from managing descriptions and properties of a product through its development and useful life. Product lifecycle management can be considered one of the four cornerstones of a manufacturing corporation's information technology structure. All companies need to manage communications and information with their customers, their suppliers and fulfillment, their resources within the enterprise and their product planning and development. One form of PLM is called people-centric PLM. While traditional PLM tools have been deployed only on release or during the release phase, people-centric PLM targets the design phase.
As of 2009, ICT development has allowed PLM to extend beyond traditional PLM and integrate sensor data and real time'lifecycle event data' into PLM, as well as allowing this information to be made available to different players in the total lifecycle of an individual product. This has resulted in the extension of PLM into closed-loop lifecycle management. Documented benefits of product lifecycle management include: Reduced time to market Increase full price sales Improved product quality and reliability Reduced prototyping costs More accurate and timely request for quote generation Ability to identify potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions Savings through the re-use of original data A framework for product optimization Reduced waste Savings through the complete integration of engineering workflows Documentation that can assist in proving compliance for RoHS or Title 21 CFR Part 11 Ability to provide contract manufacturers with access to a centralized product record Seasonal fluctuation management Improved forecasting to reduce material costs Maximize supply chain collaboration Within PLM there are five primary areas.
An important aspect for life cycle management is a subset within Systems Engineering called Reliability Engineering. Product and portfolio m² is focused on managing resource allocation, tracking progress, plan for new product development projects that are in process. Portfolio management is a tool that assists management in tracking progress on new products and making trade-off decisions when allocating scarce resources. Product design is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. Manufacturing process management is a collection of technologies and methods used to define how products are to be manufactured. Product data management is focused on capturing and maintaining information on products and/or services through their development and useful life. Change management is an important part of PDM/PLM. Note: While application software is not required for PLM processes, the business complexity and rate of change requires organizations execute as as possible.
The core of PLM (product lif
Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities. Consumer behaviour emerged in the 50s as a distinct sub-discipline in the marketing area. Consumer behaviour is an inter-disciplinary social science that blends elements from psychology, social anthropology, ethnography and economics behavioural economics, it examines how emotions and preferences affect buying behaviour. Characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, personality lifestyles and behavioural variables such as usage rates, usage occasion, brand advocacy, willingness to provide referrals, in an attempt to understand people's wants and consumption are all investigated in formal studies of consumer behaviour; the study of consumer behaviour investigates the influences, on the consumer, from groups such as family, sports, reference groups, society in general.
The study of consumer behaviour is concerned with all aspects of purchasing behaviour – from pre-purchase activities through to post-purchase consumption and disposal activities. It is concerned with all persons involved, either directly or indirectly, in purchasing decisions and consumption activities including brand-influencers and opinion leaders. Research has shown that consumer behaviour is difficult to predict for experts in the field. However, new research methods such as ethnography and consumer neuroscience are shedding new light on how consumers make decisions. Customer relationship management databases have become an asset for the analysis of customer behaviour; the voluminous data produced by these databases enables detailed examination of behavioural factors that contribute to customer re-purchase intentions, consumer retention and other behavioural intentions such as the willingness to provide positive referrals, become brand advocates or engage in customer citizenship activities.
Databases assist in market segmentation behavioural segmentation such as developing loyalty segments, which can be used to develop targeted, customized marketing strategies on a one-to-one basis. See: History of marketing thought In the 1940s and 50's, marketing was dominated by the so-called classical schools of thought which were descriptive and relied on case study approaches with only occasional use of interview methods. At the end of the 1950s, two important reports criticised marketing for its lack of methodological rigor the failure to adopt mathematically-oriented behavioural science research methods; the stage was set for marketing to become more inter-disciplinary by adopting a consumer-behaviourist perspective. From the 1950s, marketing began to shift is reliance away from economics and towards other disciplines, notably the behavioural sciences, including sociology and clinical psychology; this resulted in a new emphasis on the customer as a unit of analysis. As a result, new substantive knowledge was added to the marketing discipline – including such ideas as opinion leadership, reference groups and brand loyalty.
Market segmentation demographic segmentation based on socioeconomic status index and household life-cycle became fashionable. With the addition of consumer behaviour, the marketing discipline exhibited increasing scientific sophistication with respect to theory development and testing procedures. In its early years, consumer behaviour was influenced by motivation research, which had increased the understanding of customers, had been used extensively by consultants in the advertising industry and within the discipline of psychology in the 1920s,'30s and'40s. By the 1950s, marketing began to adopt techniques used by motivation researchers including depth interviews, projective techniques, thematic apperception tests and a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. More scholars have added a new set of tools including: ethnography, photo-elicitation techniques and phenomenological interviewing. Today, consumer behaviour is regarded as an important sub-discipline within marketing and is included as a unit of study in all undergraduate marketing programs.
Consumer behaviour entails "all activities associated with the purchase and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities." The term, consumer can refer to individual consumers as well as organisational consumers, more "an end user, not a purchaser, in the distribution chain of a good or service." Consumer behaviour is concerned with: purchase activities: the purchase of services.
User-generated content, alternatively known as user-created content, is any form of content, such as images, videos and audio, that have been posted by users on online platforms such as social media and wikis. The term "user-generated content" and the concept it refers to entered mainstream usage in the mid-2000s, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles; the BBC adopted a user-generated content platform for its websites in 2005, TIME Magazine named "You" as the Person of the Year in 2006, referring to the rise in the production of UGC on Web 2.0 platforms. CNN invested in developed a similar user generated content platform, known as iReport. There are several other examples of news channels implementing similar protocols in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe or terrorist attack. Social media users are able to provide key eye witness content and information that may otherwise have been inaccessible. Due to new media and technology affordances, such as low cost and low barriers to entry, the Internet is an easy platform to create and dispense user generated content, allowing the dissemination of information at a rapid pace in the wake an event taking place.
However, UGC is not limited to mainstream news or media. User-generated content is used for a wide range of applications, including problem processing, entertainment, advertising and research, it is an example of the democratization of content production and the flattening of traditional media hierarchies. During the 1970s and 1980s, traditional "gatekeepers" such as newspaper editors and news shows approved all content and information before it was aired or published, in the 1990s and 2000s, as media production through new technologies has become more accessible, user friendly and affordable to the general public, large numbers of individuals are able to post text, digital photos and digital videos online, with little or no "gatekeepers" or filters; the advent of user-generated content marked a shift among media organizations from creating online content to providing facilities for amateurs to publish their own content. User-generated content has been characterized as citizen media as opposed to the'packaged goods media' of the past century.
Citizen Media is news coverage. People give their reviews and share stories in the form of user-generated and user-uploaded audio and user-generated video; the former is a two-way process in contrast to the one-way distribution of the latter. Conversational or two-way media is a key characteristic of so-called Web 2.0 which encourages the publishing of one's own content and commenting on other people's content. The role of the passive audience therefore has shifted since the birth of New Media, an ever-growing number of participatory users are taking advantage of the interactive opportunities on the Internet to create independent content. Grassroots experimentation generated an innovation in sounds, artists and associations with audiences which are being used in mainstream media; the active and creative audience is prevailing today with accessible media and applications, its culture is in turn affecting mass media corporations and global audiences. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has defined three central schools for UGC: Publication requirement: While UGC could be made by a user and never published online or elsewhere, we focus here on the work, published in some context, be it on a publicly accessible website or on a page on a social networking site only accessible to a select group of people.
This is a useful way to exclude two-way instant messages and the like. Creative effort: Creative effort was put into creating the work or adapting existing works to construct a new one. UGC also has a collaborative element to it, as is the case with websites which users can edit collaboratively. For example copying a portion of a television show and posting it to an online video website would not be considered UGC. If a user uploads his/her photographs, expresses his/her thoughts in a blog, or creates a new music video, this could be considered UGC, yet the minimum amount of creative effort depends on the context. Creation outside of professional routines and practices: User-generated content is created outside of professional routines and practices, it does not have an institutional or a commercial market context. In extreme cases, UGC may be produced by non-professionals without the expectation of profit or remuneration. Motivating factors include: connecting with peers, achieving a certain level of fame, notoriety, or prestige, the desire to express oneself.
It is important to have an objective before attempting to become part of the UGC/social networking environment. For example, companies may ask users to post their reviews directly to their Facebook page; this could end up disastrous. Mere copy & paste or hyperlinking could be seen as user-generated self-expression; the action of linking to a work or copying a work could in itself motivate the creator, express the taste of the person linking or copying. Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, leaptag.com are good examples of where such linkage to work happens. The culmination of such linkages could well identify the tastes of a person in the community and make that person unique. Briefly User-Generated Content occurs when a product’s customers create and disseminate online ideas about a product or the firm that markets it. The
Planned obsolescence, or built-in obsolescence, in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so that it becomes obsolete after a certain period of time. The rationale behind this strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases. Producers that pursue this strategy believe that the additional sales revenue it creates more than offsets the additional costs of research and development, offsets the opportunity costs of repurposing an existing product line. In a competitive industry, this is a risky policy, because consumers may decide to buy from competitors instead if they notice the strategy. Planned obsolescence tends to work best. Before introducing a planned obsolescence, the producer has to know that the consumer is at least somewhat to buy a replacement from them. In these cases of planned obsolescence, there is an information asymmetry between the producer, who knows how long the product was designed to last, the consumer, who does not.
When a market becomes more competitive, product lifespans tend to increase. For example, when Japanese vehicles with longer lifespans entered the American market in the 1960s and 1970s, American carmakers were forced to respond by building more durable products. In the United States, automotive design reached a turning point in 1924 when the American national automobile market began reaching saturation. To maintain unit sales, General Motors head Alfred P. Sloan Jr. suggested annual model-year design changes to convince car owners that they needed to buy a new replacement each year, an idea borrowed from the bicycle industry, though the concept is misattributed to Sloan. Critics called his strategy "planned obsolescence". Sloan preferred the term "dynamic obsolescence"; this strategy had far-reaching effects on the auto business, the field of product design, the American economy. The smaller players could not maintain the expense of yearly re-styling. Henry Ford did not like the constant stream of model-year changes because he clung to an engineer's notions of simplicity, economies of scale, design integrity.
GM became the dominant company in the industry thereafter. The frequent design changes made it necessary to use a body-on-frame rather than the lighter, but less easy to modify, unibody design used by most European automakers; the origins of phrase planned obsolescence go back at least as far as 1932 with Bernard London's pamphlet Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. The essence of London's plan would have the government impose a legal obsolescence on consumer articles, to stimulate and perpetuate consumption. However, the phrase was first popularized in 1954 by Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer. Stevens was due to give a talk at an advertising conference in Minneapolis in 1954. Without giving it much thought, he used the term as the title of his talk. From that point on, "planned obsolescence" became Stevens' catchphrase. By his definition, planned obsolescence was "Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
The phrase was taken up by others, but Stevens' definition was challenged. By the late 1950s, planned obsolescence had become a used term for products designed to break or to go out of style. In fact, the concept was so recognized that in 1959 Volkswagen mocked it in an advertising campaign. While acknowledging the widespread use of planned obsolescence among automobile manufacturers, Volkswagen pitched itself as an alternative. "We do not believe in planned obsolescence", the ads suggested. "We don't change a car for the sake of change." In the famous Volkswagen advertising campaign by Doyle Dane Bernbach, one advert showed an blank page with the strapline "No point in showing the 1962 Volkswagen, it still looks the same". In 1960, cultural critic Vance Packard published The Waste Makers, promoted as an exposé of "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals". Packard divided planned obsolescence into two sub categories: obsolescence of desirability.
Packard quoted industrial designer George Nelson, who wrote: "Design... is an attempt to make a contribution through change. When no contribution is made or can be made, the only process available for giving the illusion of change is'styling!'" Contrived durability is a strategy of shortening the product lifetime before it is released onto the market, by designing it to deteriorate quickly. The design of all consumer products includes an expected average lifetime permeating all stages of development. Thus, it must be decided early in the design of a complex product how long it is designed to last so that each component can be made to those specifications. Since all matter is subject to entropy, it is impossible for any designed object to retain its full function forever. Limited lifespan is only a sign of planned obsolescence if the lifespan of the product is made artificially short by design; the strategy of contrived durability is not prohibited by law, manufacturers are free to set the durability level of their products.
A possible method of limiting a product's durability is to use inferior materials in critical areas, or suboptimal component layouts which cause excessive wear. U
Technology life cycle
The technology life-cycle describes the commercial gain of a product through the expense of research and development phase, the financial return during its "vital life". Some technologies, such as steel, paper or cement manufacturing, have a long lifespan while in other cases, such as electronic or pharmaceutical products, the lifespan may be quite short; the TLC associated with a product or technological service is different from product life-cycle dealt with in product life-cycle management. The latter is concerned with the life of a product in the marketplace with respect to timing of introduction, marketing measures, business costs; the technology underlying the product may be quite marginal but the process of creating and managing its life as a branded product will be different. The technology life cycle is concerned with the time and cost of developing the technology, the timeline of recovering cost, modes of making the technology yield a profit proportionate to the costs and risks involved.
The TLC may, further, be protected during its cycle with patents and trademarks seeking to lengthen the cycle and to maximize the profit from it. The product of the technology may be a commodity such as polyethylene plastic or a sophisticated product like the integrated circuits used in a smartphone; the development of a competitive product or process can have a major effect on the lifespan of the technology, making it shorter. The loss of intellectual property rights through litigation or loss of its secret elements through leakages work to reduce a technology's lifespan. Thus, it is apparent that the management of the TLC is an important aspect of technology development. Most new technologies follow a similar technology maturity lifecycle describing the technological maturity of a product; this is not similar to a product life cycle, but applies to an entire technology, or a generation of a technology. Technology adoption is the most common phenomenon driving the evolution of industries along the industry lifecycle.
After expanding new uses of resources they end with exhausting the efficiency of those processes, producing gains that are first easier and larger over time exhaustingly more difficult, as the technology matures. The TLC may be seen as composed of four phases: The research and development phase when incomes from inputs are negative and where the prospects of failure are high The ascent phase when out-of-pocket costs have been recovered and the technology begins to gather strength by going beyond some Point A on the TLC The maturity phase when gain is high and stable, the region, going into saturation, marked by M, The decline, after a Point D, of reducing fortunes and utility of the technology; the shape of the technology lifecycle is referred to as S-curve. There is technology hype at the introduction of any new technology, but only after some time has passed can it be judged as mere hype or justified true acclaim; because of the logistic curve nature of technology adoption, it is difficult to see in the early stages whether the hype is excessive.
The two errors committed in the early stages of a technology's development are: fitting an exponential curve to the first part of the growth curve, assuming eternal exponential growth fitting a linear curve to the first part of the growth curve, assuming that take-up of the new technology is disappointing Similarly, in the stages, the opposite mistakes can be made relating to the possibilities of technology maturity and market saturation. The technology adoption life cycle occurs in an S curve, as modelled in diffusion of innovations theory; this is. Diffusion of innovations theory, pioneered by Everett Rogers, posits that people have different levels of readiness for adopting new innovations and that the characteristics of a product affect overall adoption. Rogers classified individuals into five groups: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards. In terms of the S curve, innovators occupy 2.5%, early adopters 13.5%, early majority 34%, late majority 34%, laggards 16%.
The four stages of technology life cycle are as follows: Innovation stage: This stage represents the birth of a new product, material of process resulting from R&D activities. In R&D laboratories, new ideas are generated depending on gaining needs and knowledge factors. Depending on the resource allocation and the change element, the time taken in the innovation stage as well as in the subsequent stages varies widely. Syndication stage: This stage represents the demonstration and commercialisation of a new technology, such as, material or process with potential for immediate utilisation. Many innovations are put on hold in R&D laboratories. Only a small percentage of these are commercialised. Commercialisation of research outcomes depends on technical as well non-technical economic factors. Diffusion stage: This represents the market penetration of a new technology through acceptance of the innovation, by potential users of the technology, but supply and demand side factors jointly influence the rate of diffusion.
Substitution stage: This last stage represents the decline in the use and eventual extension of a technology, due to replacement by another technology. Many technical and non-technical factors influence the rate of substitution; the time taken in the substitution stage depends on the market dynamics. Large corporations develop technology for their own benefit and not with the objective of licensing; the tendency to license out tech