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Product Strategy for High Technology Companies Hardcover – October 12, 2000

ISBN-13: 063-9785324447 ISBN-10: 0071362460 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

[BACK COVER]

Product Strategy for High Technology Companies 2nd Edition Michael E. McGrath

[CATEGORY] Management

[HEAD] How Today’s High-Tech Leaders—Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, and Others—Continue their Dominance in an Increasingly Competitive Marketplace.
Companies looking to make a mark in today’s crowded high-tech battlefield need two primary elements: a distinctive product and a powerful product strategy. Without both, they simply won’t survive. Product Strategy for High Technology Companies, 2nd Edition, is today’s only book on product strategy written specifically for high-tech companies. Updated and revised to encompass everything from changing product strategies to Web-based technologies, this forward-thinking book provides page after page of market-tested strategies and techniques that include:
• An in-depth examination of the market-proven Core Strategic Vision (CSV) and Market Platform Plan (MPP) Frameworks
• Case studies examining 14 unique differentiation strategies—what worked, what didn’t, and why
• More than 250 examples of product strategy in action, from the success of Microsoft to the equally stunning—at the time—failure of Osborne
The opportunities in today’s wide-open technology marketplace are unparalleled in history. Benchmark yourself against the high-tech leaders—and discover techniques to carve out your own area of expertise and success—with Product Strategy for High Technology Companies.

[FLAP COPY]

Product Strategy for High Technology Companies 2nd Edition Michael E. McGrath


• How did Xerox, a dominant world leader in light-lens copying, change its strategic focus in time to secure a foothold in the emerging digital technologies arena?
• Which line strategies helped Tylenol leverage its single product—acetaminophen—into a broad-based platform that has sold nearly a quarter-trillion tablets?
• What innovative strategies did Dell Computer use to become a low-price leader in the notoriously razor-thin margin world of personal computers?


Continuous technological change…Short product life cycles…Fast-moving, innovative start-up competitors…
High-technology companies face a number of unique challenges not encountered by companies in other industries. And yet some—Microsoft, IBM, Apple, and Intel, to name just a few—consistently overcome the same obstacles faced by others, and continue to strengthen their competitive positions year after year. How do they do it? Product Strategy for High Technology Companies defines how high-tech companies have used product strategy and product platform strategy to achieve competitiveness, profitability, and continued expansion in the Internet age. Product strategists in high-tech companies will get the latest information on developing successful product policies—including technological change, product differentiation, timing and contingency planning, as well as marketing and financial considerations.
And far from offering a one-sided viewpoint of the marketplace, author Michael McGrath draws on his nearly quarter-century of experience to relate how product strategy works in the real world. McGrath discusses the strategies that allowed Amazon to create and launch numerous products in record time—and their plans for continuing this cycle of innovation and growth. He examines how companies such as Motorola were able to successfully leverage existing product lines, while others such as Wang quickly failed and disappeared.
Product Strategy for High Technology Companies is nothing less than a template for growth in the brutally competitive arena of high technology. Candid, comprehensive, and generous in its use of real-life examples to illustrate strategic realities, it shows today’s emerging technology challengers how to build a solid strategic foundation, leverage the strengths of that foundation, then build from it to assume and maintain a position of leadership—today and well into the 21st century.

About the Author Michael McGrath is a cofounder and managing director of Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM), a leader in helping technology-based companies develop agile, robust management processes and methodologies. In over two decades of management consulting, he has worked with more than 100 companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. McGrath initiated PACE“ (Product And Cycle-time Excellence), PRTM’s product-development consulting practice, and has directed many of PRTM’s projects in reducing time-to-market in a variety of high technology companies. He coauthored the books Product Development and Setting the PACE in Product Development, and has published numerous articles on international manufacturing, product development, and trends in the high-technology industry.

About the Author

Michael McGrath is a cofounder and managing director of Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM), a leader in helping technology-based companies develop agile, robust management processes and methodologies. In over two decades of management consulting, he has worked with more than 100 companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. McGrath initiated PACE“ (Product And Cycle-time Excellence), PRTM’s product-development consulting practice, and has directed many of PRTM’s projects in reducing time-to-market in a variety of high technology companies. He coauthored the books Product Development and Setting the PACE in Product Development, and has published numerous articles on international manufacturing, product development, and trends in the high-technology industry.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2nd edition (October 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071362460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071362467
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 1986 when Michael McGrath initiated the PACE® (Product and Cycle-time Excellence)decision process for product development,it enabled thousands of companies to reduce time-to-market. In Business Decisions!he now changes the way and the process of how companies make decisions. Author and decision-making expert Michael McGrath has devoted his career to making winning business decisions. He has advised some of the largest companies in the world and created innovative new decision techniques used by hundreds of successful businesses. He has made countless decisions as a CEO building a world-leading consulting firm and leading a public company turnaround. He is the author of the best-selling book Product Strategy for High-Technology Companies and founder of Decide Better. He currently is the executive chairman of Thomas Group, and serves on a number of private and nonprofit boards.

Decide Better!
Decide Better was founded in 2007 to help businesses and individuals achieve success through making better decisions. The company has two series of books. The Decide Better Self-Help series is targeted at individuals, with Decide Better! for a Better Life and Decide Better! for College published in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Business Decisions! is the first book in the Decide Better Business Series, with additional books and workbooks to follow. In addition to publications, Decide Better also provides decision workshops for executives, teams, and boards, as well as presentations to large groups. For more information, go to www.DecideBetter.com/BusinessDecisions.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After founding a leading market research firm and teaching New Product Development at Harvard, I found this book so compelling that our firm has completed a review of our entire new web research product strategy, and come to some startling and highly productive insights on how to proceed and succeed. It is by far the most practical, in-depth guide to achieving competitive new product development strategies I have ever read.
The book shows clearly how to answer the critical questions: 1) Where do we want to go, 2) How will we get there, and 3) Why will we be successful. It shows how to create a Core Strategic Vision that is the foundation for new product success. And it shows how to use that vision to create highly competitive and profitable product lines, particularly in high technology.
Having tested new product ideas for hundreds of companies over the last 25 years, it is difficult to think of more than a handful who couldn't have benefited from not only reading this book, but doing what it recommends.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Jon McKay on March 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There are countless strategy books out there. Each one has an overriding framework that the entire book is based on, that often warrants only a 15-page article. This book is loaded with practical frameworks that together provide a thinking and creativity-channeling approach. Better yet, every framework has been proven in practice at dozens of companies by the author's implementation-based consulting firm. Each chapter is filled with examples from a broad range of technology-based companies. When applying these frameworks outside of technology-based industries and large companies just use common sense to strip them down to their essence and don't worry about the fancy techno-speak. You can also use most chapters as stand-alone strategy tools. I personally like "vectors of differentiation" and wonder how so many companies blow it when it seems like common sense. But then again if common sense were common, books like this wouldn't be needed. And then there's the issue of actually implementing what you come up with...
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By adam sah on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book: the concept of a "vector" for product
development is a terrific way to think about competition.
IMHO, this book is a must-read for all product managers,
product marketers and people involved in strategic decisions,
i.e. all senior executives.
That said, speaking as a five-time startup engineer, the advice
and examples in this book seem geared towards the core product
lines in larger companies, where you can credibly talk about
"two years from now" as opposed to wondering if you'll even be
in business, which is also the problem for new product lines at
large companies. The experience for the book comes from the
PRTM consulting firm, which was made famous for their work with
parallel product development at Intel. We hired them in the
early days at Inktomi, and found mixed success with their
process because we were terrified of immediate failure, and
they wanted to talk about version 3. Obviously, there's a
successful middle ground because Inktomi was a huge success in
the short term, but ultimately lost its strategic direction.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Serge J. Van Steenkiste on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his richly illustrated Product Strategy for High Technology Companies, Michael E. McGrath rightly describes product strategy as a management process. Like any process, product strategy defines structure, timing, responsibilities, and skills. The process architecture reproduced on page 359 provides a practical framework starting with the definition of core strategic vision. Core strategic vision requires answering three questions: 1. Where do we want to go? 2. How will we get there? 3. And most critical Why will we be successful? Core strategic vision determines the criteria used for reaching a strategic balance in the product development process: Focus vs. diversification, short-term vs. long-term, current product platform vs. new product platform, business Alpha vs. business Beta, research vs. development, and high risk vs. low risk. Available resources influence the outlook of strategic balance.
Core strategic vision, strategic balance, core competencies, and competitive strategy are together the foundations on which the often-ignored product platform strategy is built. Product platform strategy is the lowest common denominator of relevant technology in a set of products or a product line. Product failures in high-tech companies frequently can be traced to an incomplete product platform strategy according to McGrath. Strategic balance, product platform strategy, and competitive strategy are together the foundations of product line strategy. Product line strategy is where specific product offerings are defined.
Core strategic vision also influences the competitive strategy that high technology companies must define. McGrath provides an in-depth, practical review of differentiation strategy, pricing strategy, and supporting strategies.
Read more ›
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By marco iansiti on January 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a key book that provides an innovative look at a critical subject. After infinite books on "how" to get products to market, here is a very valuable analysis of "what" to bring to market, how to leverage and extend a company's capability base. Product Strategy will have an enormous impact on the senior managers that read it and on the companies that implement its findings. It is full of useful methodologies and gripping examples, and provides a great balance of strategic vision and operational guidance.
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