What Criteria Should Be Used To Pick The Best New Product?

We announced that we will do best new product awards in 2019.

A fundamental question is what criteria should be used to pick. I'd like to open a discussion here on that.

Initial thoughts on criteria:

How well does it work?

This seems too obvious but no industry awards program does testing of products. It would be as if the Oscars were chosen solely by looking at trailers...

Given our industry leading testing program, we can solve this problem. Most notably, we can debunk / properly assess whether a new product actually meets its claims. If they do not, it can easily disqualify them, regardless of how bold the idea or marketing is.

How much better is it than existing products?

If a new product works well but it is capabilities are quite similar to existing products, it might be solid but it would be hard to reasonably say it was the best and certainly would not be the best of the year.

How much does it cost?

This is engineering, not science. If something new is moderately better but it costs 5 times as much, the impact is likely going to be quite limited as most people will not see the value in the new product. Likewise, if something does 90% of what existing products do but at 90% less price, it could disrupt the market.

How impactful can the product be on the market?

Once you get to a shorter list of products that (1) work, (2) are materially better than existing ones and (3) either has reasonable or lower costs, you are still faced with having to contrast those that remain to each other.

One idea that people mention is categories, i.e., VMS vs fixed IP camera vs multi-imager IP camera vs PTZs vs accessories vs storage vs analytics vs face recognition, etc. That would help reduce contrasts across categories though it also makes the awards less significant, i.e., in most categories there are not a lot of viable new entrants each year.

We definitely would like to pick the best across all video surveillance to better emphasize / highlight impactful products. The question then becomes how do you compare the best new PTZ vs the new best new facial recognition? One might assess how much of a breakthrough each has made in their respective categories and what that breakthrough could achieve across the market?

Those are some initial thoughts. Curious to hear from others.

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