How to launch New Products

The New Product Go-To-Market (NPGTM) team helps launch new products at Cloudflare. This series of articles outlines the origins of the team, its objectives, defines how those objectives are achieve, and why other organisations should follow a similar approach.


Part 1: Innovation 101


Part 2: Product-Market-Sales Fit


Part 3: Practice


Summary

In summary, another way of describing our team’s work is to use the analogy of a synthesizer. They are instruments that take a multitude of inputs - literal sources of noise - and, with the right timing, compile them into cohesive output: music. Similarly, the NPGTM team synthesizes information about a new product and funnels it back to the Sales and Product teams.

This funnel is needed, as outlined in Part 1, because the innovators need to continue innovating without distractions, and the established successful business units do not have capacity to iterate on small experiments. Nonetheless somebody has to plug the new cogs into the old machine. Our core strength, as demonstrated in Part 2, lies in first gathering, and then efficiently synthesising information about new products, as well as subsequently distributing it to the right people at the right time. We use that strength to navigate the trajectory of sales and technical readiness, effectively facilitating a go-to-market strategy that is as fast and effective as possible - Part 3 shows what that looks like in practice. Ultimately, this approach enables us to help with bridging the gap between a small and a large organization, turning a small experiment into a successful product with a significant customer base.

No matter the stage or scale of an organization, our function of “bridging the gap” (or crossing the chasm, as Geoffrey Moore called it) will always be vital to ensuring commercial, and thus overall, success of any new product. The approach outlined herein has worked for a very specific environment, at a very specific time. But the learnings can be applied to anyone struggling with the difficult task of releasing new products at an established organization. Give it a try.

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