Market Events/Market Rhythms
You are trying to establish the market window for a given release or an ongoing series of releases. You have a Market Map to help you explore specific market segments.
How do you choose a good target release date? How do you establish an ongoing cycle of releases?
Identify and record the key events and rhythms that drive your market. Every domain has them. For example, Comdex and CEBIT are important international conferences that drive many end-consumer computing devices. Consider the following when you're searching for important events.
Events that are held periodically, such as Comdex, also create and establish the rhythm of the market. If you're a successful consumer electronics vendor, Comdex and CEBIT form the foundation of a yearly rhythm known by all market participants and driving all company activities. Other examples of marketplace rhythms include
Once you have identified marketplace events and rhythms use them to create the timing and rhythm of ongoing releases. I've had good luck with regular release cycles of between nine and twelve months. Broad software categories, such as high-end and enterprise systems, often have major releases every twelve months, with dot or maintenance releases following three to four months thereafter. Some software categories, such as operating systems, don't seem to have a rhythm.
The maturity of the market segment also affects the release cycle. Immature markets tend to have shorter release cycles and more eventsa reflection of the learning going on among market participants. Mature markets tend to have longer release cycles and more established rhythms.
Developers are happier because they know that marketing isn't making a date out of thin air. Commonly known dates have an energizing and engaging effect on the entire development organization. Customers are happier because they can engage in realistic strategic planning. They know that sometime in the third quarter they will be receiving a new release and can plan accordingly .