3 Week Product Development | RealNetworks
Three weeks before a significant product launch, RealNetworks learned that a major competitor was going to be providing a key feature enhancement for free. RealNetworks had to respond and develop a competing solution in just 21 days.
A build/buy analysis revealed that partnering with a third party would enable a faster time to market. We selected an existing RealNetworks partner, who was already providing a paid add-on for audio enhancement.
The Product Requirements Document outlined a free, upgradable version, mirroring the new UI/UX that RealNetworks was deploying. The free solution could not be crippleware - it had to provide a good experience on its own. An additional opportunity was identified to provide RealNetworks customers with an upgrade path within the product.
The outside partner agreed to develop the new solution at their cost, with a revenue split on upgrades of 30/70.
Beta development took ten days, and a release candidate was ready on day 16. On day 18 the release candidate received approval and the software was queued up for deployment. The messaging for the product launch was updated to include this new addition, and media relations made the enhancement a core pillar of the launch.
Downloads exceed 5.6 million in the first year, with 14% of customers upgrading to the paid version, making it the top revenue-generating third-party application offered by RealNetworks.
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