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About the Author

Phil Baker has a long career developing consumer electronic products, as well as working as a technology journalist and author. He has developed many iconic products for Polaroid, Apple, Seiko, Barnes & Noble, Pono, and more. Baker is the author of From Concept to Consumer and has written award-winning columns for the San Diego Daily Transcript, Tech.pinions, and others. Phil holds more than 30 patents and was the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for San Diego. Phil and Neil began working together to develop the Pono music player in 2012 and continue to work together on other projects, including the recently introduced Neil Young Archives, an online archive of Neil’s lifetime of works.

Praise For From Concept to Consumer

“This is a fascinating, convincing, and highly detailed discussion of the innovation-and-marketing process as it actually works. Phil Baker has helped me understand how the modern, global high-tech industry actually works, and anyone who shares that curiosity will benefit from reading his book.”
—James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly

“In the high volume, fast moving field of high-tech consumer gadgetry, learning from your mistakes can be a very expensive education. It takes much more than a great inspiration to create a great product, and Phil Baker’s book provides hard earned, practical advice (and fair warning) to those obsessed with making the next great shiny new toy.”
—Paul Jacobs, CEO, Qualcomm

“When it comes to understanding how things work, why things work, and perhaps most important, why I should care, Phil Baker is my go-to guy. I’ve always believed that if you can’t understand the process, you’ll never appreciate the product and Phil Baker always provides that essential perspective. Don’t just read the instruction manual—read Phil Baker first.”
—Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, NBC Today Show

“Phil Baker uses his personal experience in the development of such seminal products as the Polaroid SX-70 camera to provide practical and readable advice on how to turn good ideas into profitable products while avoiding the numerous pitfalls along the way.”
—Steve Wildstrom, Technology & You Columnist, BusinessWeek

“From Concept to Consumer isn’t just for the entrepreneur or the product development guru-in-training. If you’re one of the legion of gadget hounds, or just want to be more informed about how the electronic products you love and use everyday come into being, then read this book!”
—Ken Wirt, VP Consumer Marketing, Cisco

“Phil Baker knows product development like no one else. This book is the true guide to getting your ideas to market. A must own for the entrepreneur.”
—Robert Brunner, Founder and Creative Director, Ammunition LLC, Former Apple Computer Director of Industrial Design

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • New World, New Rules
    • Build It and They Won’t Come
    • New Rules
    • Asia
  • Just Do It
    • Organizing for Rapid Development
    • Get Customer Input
    • Leveraging Outside Resources
    • Remembering That Less Is More
    • Don’t Get Hung Up with Perfection
  • The Basics of Development
    • Development
    • Marketing
    • Estimating Sales
    • Product Specs
    • Schedule
    • Product Cost
  • Industrial Design Matters
    • Discovering ID
    • The Industrial Design Process
  • Why Outsource?
    • The Rise of the OEM and ODM Model
    • Taiwan
    • Mainland China
    • Asia’s Advantage
    • Is Outsourcing for All?
    • Protection of Your Intellectual Property
    • Product Quality
    • The Chinese Factory
  • Selecting and Working with an Asian Partner
    • Managing the Relationship
    • Manufacturing Costs
    • Manufacturing Quality
    • Durability Testing
  • The Marketing Component
    • Product Definition
    • Market Testing
    • Product Positioning
    • Public Relations
    • Customer Service
    • Establishing Price
  • Distribution: Getting Your Product to the Consumer
    • What Are Your Choices?
    • Retail Distribution
    • Distribution Costs
    • Selling Through
    • Licensing
  • Legal Advice: Knowing When to Ignore It
    • Patents
    • Agreements and Contracts
    • Development and Manufacturing Agreements
  • Now What?
  • Epilogue: The Future of Product Development
  • Appendix A: Top Ten Results
  • Appendix B: Products and the Environment
  • Appendix C: China—Helpful or Harmful?
  • Appendix D: A Representative List of Recommended Resources
  • Index