Market Walkthrough

A Product Initiative will be expressed in market or business terms. A product is more than a program or any other piece of technology.

Davidow makes this clear in his book Marketing High-Technology. It is a marketing function that makes one from the other. And marketing must have good contact with both sides of its operations, the product's customers and the program's developers. Likewise, development must understand the customer needs served by an initiative and have the confidence and resources to peruse market questions as they arise.

Therefore: Begin every initiative with a walkthrough of program and product concepts involving most of the development and marketing staffs. Understand an initiative from the buyer's and user's perspective and from developments point of view too. Should an initiative come from or involve contract terms, now is a good time to review them. Finally, all should agree on basic terminology, such as that used as Implied Requirements.


A trading software company is responding to growing fear of derivative contracts by adding improved pricing models and related analytic. The marketing department has selected key customers with derivative portfolios and a willingness to work with development.

In a market walkthrough the company president outlines changes in the derivatives market, the New York region customer representative summarizes the newest pricing models popular on "the street", and the staff domain specialist outlines a vision for incorporating similar function in the companies product.

The walkthrough ends with a long question and answer period in which marketing and development begin to match customer needs with implementation possibilities.