"We have this product idea...it's going to change the world!"

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When I was a design consultant, potential clients would tell us all about how their cool new products were going to take over the market.

Sometimes a company’s product really was cool and new–though it was doubtful it was going to make its mark in the manner envisioned. Occasionally a company was so enamored with its ideas and its technology that its team was unable to step back and see other potential uses or markets for the product.

Heather Fleming from Catapult Design has put together a list of 5 justifications people tell themselves when developing technology and products for people in need. Many apply to product development in general, not just product development for the third world.

Maintaining perspective when designing a new product is important. Projects can be so exciting and full of discovery that it is easy to get carried in new directions. It takes discipline, but by periodically evaluating your work, you can make sure the product you’re developing still meets the needs of the market, the goals for the project and the objectives of your company. It’s the difference between developing great products and developing products that could have been great if only…

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