Going Social with Product Development

A quick peek into some research on … how manufacturers are taking advantage of social computing and “Web 2.0” technologies to raise the bar on product development performance in my new report Tech-Clarity Insight: Going Social with Product Development: Improving Product Development Performance with Social Computing. The paper discusses the intersection of social computing and new product development (NPD) processes and tools. I have posted frequently about the intersection of social computing and PLM and product innovation, and this research provides some examples on how these strategies are starting to play out for manufacturers like Microsoft (think PC hardware and game consoles, not Windows) and Pitney Bowes.

People Tagging in Product Development

What I learned this week … was sparked by some recent social networking announcements on people tagging. The most recent was that Facebook plans to offer tagging very similar to what Twitter offers. This follows other announcements around geo-tagging, but I am really most interested in how tagging people can help in product development (and overall in product innovation).

Mining Social Network Emotions and Opinions for Product Development

What I learned this week …came from an article in The New York Times by Alex Wright. The article, Mining the Web for Feelings not Facts, was a great look into a concept that is new to me, an emerging field called “sentiment analysis.” The article defines sentiment analysis as “translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data.” The examples show companies using data analysis techniques to gain insight into what social media (such as social networks and blogs) are saying about their company. My thoughts immediately turned to the value this information would have to product developers to understand how customers feel about their products, and what a great tool this could be in the social computing toolkit for PLM.

Social Computing Drives Innovation

What I learned this week …came from a side conversation during some research I am working on in the innovation systems ecosystem. I was discussing the importance of different solutions in the space with this major electronic manufacturer, and he started to get very passionate when he turned the conversation to Web 2.0 and how it can improve innovation. With the work I have been doing on social computing in PLM, we ended up having a fascinating conversation about the potentials. It’s always nice when you see confirmation of a trend from an unexpected source.