Momentum in the Evolving Marketplace
The success of a product is defined by both its relevance and quality: what needs does this product fulfill, and how effectively? Though as the needs of a marketplace are in constant flux, the most successful products should not only grow, but evolve. Any company can thrive for a time through refinement of a functional product, but innovative thinkers will identify emerging needs to cultivate their products for success in the long term.
In the early stages of the computer and networking industries, NEC USA needed to inform consumers about its products and services in a more accessible manner, and streamlined their customer service through one of the first iterations of a Webmaster. Conceptualized and implemented by Troy Glick, the Webmaster organized information about products and services into intuitive categories and enabled users to request further information from the website. The service was an immediate success, but NEC USA was already looking forward. Plans were quickly made to expand the service to address other needs such as publicizing company announcements, publishing articles, and even presenting employment opportunities.
While NEC USA’s Webmaster was part of a first generation of similar products, the Tribune Company developed an online travel destination application that was truly the first of its kind: Destination Florida. Collaboratively produced by two teams under the leadership of Troy Glick, Destination Florida organized and displayed travel opportunities to users based on their regional destination within Florida and their lifestyles, from parents in need of a getaway to newly weds planning a honeymoon. The service streamlined the travel experience by allowing users to not only discover these opportunities, but also make the necessary arrangements for hotels, cruise ships, and the like via the same website. The success of Destination Florida grew out of serving the combined needs for a convenient travel resource and travel planner. For creating the service - whose design principles were popular enough that they have endured in modern industries - Troy Glick and his teams received the well-deserved CIO 50/50 award for innovation.
Both NEC USA and the Tribune Company found success by identifying and executing on marketplace needs. For NEC USA, this involved using the success of a product to generate momentum, and quickly expanding the product to address similar needs. For Tribune Company, this involved identifying related marketplace needs and designing a product to mutually address them. Troy Glick’s role in the success of these companies was perspective and innovation; the ability to see an opening and not just fill it, but grow within it. These companies’ products made them leaders in their respective industries with influence continuing into the modern day.