The product development process is not as simple as coming up with ideas for new products, producing the product and putting the product on the market. The practical reality is a complex process involving almost all stakeholders in an organization. New products must not only be useful innovations that can be produced and sold for a reasonable profit, but they must also be safe, protected by intellectual property rights, and perhaps most importantly, be marketable.
The first stage of the product development process is coming up with a great idea for a new product. Sometimes new products are developed from identifying a specific need in society and creating a product to fulfill, or sometimes new product ideas occur because of an unusual coincidence or event that triggers the idea in the mind of the inventor.
The next stage in the product development process is confirming the value or utility of the new product. Getting the perspective of others outside the team, especially from potential customers or users of the product, is important. This prevents spending a lot of time and money on the development of products that don't have sufficient utility or have some kind of subtle flaw (possibly cultural).
Concept development is the nitty-gritty of product development. Concept development includes getting a handle on basics such as the costs of the materials, overall production costs, potential profit, initial market research, target customers and so forth.
Actual Product Development
Product development is the stage with design and manufacture. This stage also includes more-detailed financial projections for ramping up production, testing the product in laboratory and actual usage conditions, and more detailed marketing analysis.
The commercialization phase of product development involves actually producing enough of the product to provide inventory to the retail outlets and rolling out the marketing campaign. The commercialization phase often takes several steps, with modifications possible, based on the results of the initial roll out.
Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.