Nintendo’s Little-Known Product Philosophy: Lateral Thinking with Withered (“Weathered”) Technology

Iterative products might be hardest in execution, but lateral products tend to be hardest in conception

Imagine you’re working at a beverage company and are responsible for a new soda launch. Obvious ideas might be to develop a new flavor (pomegranate-cinnamon), upgrade an ingredient (rainforest dew sweetener) or go with licensing (Big Bang Theory soda). However, these ideas aren’t lateral as you’re just replacing one product feature for another. Instead, you have to approach soda in a structurally different way. Here are two strategies you might employ:

Examples could include AA batteries, aluminum cans or the Python programming language

Withered technologies are abundant, well-understood and cheap. Examples could include AA batteries, aluminum cans or the Python programming language. So for a soda executive high fructose corn syrup is withered, while premium organic agave syrup is not.

  • The cost savings allow you to price for everyone
  • The resource savings allow you to focus on innovating around the edges of your product
  • The time savings allow you to launch early and often
  • And with the supply abundance, you can go global

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On Product Development, Product Management & Product Leadership

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Adam Ghahramani

Adam Ghahramani

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On Product Development, Product Management & Product Leadership