The oldest archery bows found are from the Nordic countries. The bows were early very well designed. The oldest Nordic bows were so called flat-bows, which is the best design for self bows, carved from a single wood stave. From archeological findings it is known that this bow design was used for 4000 years. An impressing product life span!
I have an axe that was handmade about 70 years ago, by master blacksmith Skog in Hjärtum, Sweden. It is well balanced, though maybe a bit heavy for a modern weak arm, have an exquisite shape and you can cut three-inch nails without denting or chipping the sharp edge. Hjärtum-axes are highly valued by master carpenters and they demand hefty prices at auctions. And yet, the design has not changed for a 1000 years.
My mobile phone did not exist a year ago and two years from now it will be hopelessly outmoded.
Product life is quickly getting shorter
As product life quickly becomes shorter and development time tends to increase, then problems arise.
An additional consequence of the increased dynamics is increased turn over of companies and increased need from society for more start-ups.
- Development represent an ever growing share of total cost. This requires a rethinking and remolding of the organization. And furthermore, it can lead to financial problems.
- It can happen that one has several development projects running in parallel within the same product area (different models) that have not reached commercialization. This is very difficult to handle.
- Time to market is critical. He who is first wins.
It is desirable to shorten development time - this can only be done through a reorientation and a decision to use more suitable methods.
One such method is Dynamic Product Development (DPD), which is most suitable for wish and want driven product development. DPD yields development times that are only 30% of current methods with a corresponding reduction in cost at sustained or improved product performance.
Another method is Lean Product Development (LPD), that has shown in Swedish applications to increase product development productivity by 3-5 times. LPD is most suitable for need and want driven product development.
When product development speed increases one has to make ever-faster decisions, often based on poor information. This requires experience and intuition, and an ability to change and adjust decisions. That is: flexible adjustments to an ever changing environment.
Cashflow-curves for products of a few decades ago and for products today. Development is towards ever shorter product life and more dynamic markets.