Thursday 6 October 2011

Master of the CONOPs

By now, news on the death of Steve Jobs has flooded the wires.

Steve was, without doubt, the Visionary. I'm not talking about the beautifully crafted products that have people queuing outside of Apple Stores from the early hours of the morning, but something more profound.

Steve was a master of the CONOPs - the Concept of Operations, and for offering "whole products".

For a product to be truly exceptional it has to fulfill the customers compelling reason to buy; this was called the "whole product" by Geoffrey Moore in his book Crossing the Chasm.

The iPod was not the first MP3 player to hit the market, Diamond Rio was considered the standard for a time - but there lies the difference, there were no associated CONOPs and users had to figure things out for themselves. It was the launch of iTunes and the App Store that opened up the possibilities by creating a Concept of Operations that completed the loop.

One great company that could benefit greatly from this concept would be Adobe.

Photoshop is considered to be a whole product, maintaining a clear leadership position with a wide variety of third party plugins that further extend the core capability. What is missing, however, is the CONOPs. Just a little more thought is required to get from camera to published magazine. Possibilities are endless here - why are they allowing Getty Images or Corbis to take all the profit while they do all the work ?

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