Many entrepreneurs identify previously ignored consumer needs as an exciting opportunity for new product development. However, it is likely that very few recognize an opportunity for a platform-based approach to new product development to satisfy these needs. When partners Marion and Weinberger embarked on a morning flight out of Philadelphia, they discussed their frustration with cleaning the ice from their windshields. They discussed the problems with current ice scrapers, and by the time they landed in San Francisco, they had developed design criteria and preliminary sketches for an innovative ice scraper. Thus began their quest for building a better ice scraper and using a product platform strategy to target multiple market segments. This case study describes how the team identified market segments and price points along with the development of the principle blade platform and secondary handle platforms, its testing, manufacturing, and production. It also describes how they deliberately designed "hardpoints" for future customization to include as yet unconceived features that might be ascertained from customer feedback after product launch. Included is a description of the partnerships formed to build a virtual company that maximized resources and capabilities yet led to challenges in communication and documentation throughout the platform and product development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence