Kane needs set aside his loyalty and remove Adams and Ferry from their positions. These two positions, especially at such an early stage in the company will dictate how successful the product will be.
He will need to fill the positions with much more capable people who have experience with consumer technology products. Vision: Kane is never able to shake his high expectations for the Seaway long enough to see all the short-term and big revenue opportunities his product. The Seaway isn’t a product that would have been able to revolutionize the way people get around overnight.It would take years for people and cities to adopt this new technology. Kane should have only designed and marketed the product with a strong focus on commercial use from the very beginning.
He would have been able to use this niche target market as a “Pilot Program” to gain valuable insight and feedback on how the product tested in real climates, terrains and situations. He could have then used this information to make improvements before he release a version suitable to the general public.This would have resulted in a much better product, with fewer issues, fewer concerns to alleviate about safety. Ideally, this would have also have lead to advances in the technology used in the product and reduced manufacturing cost, which could have translated to a smaller price tag. Financial Scenarios: With a product like Seaway that is so expensive to research, develop and bring to market, money was always going to be an issue. Kane needed to anticipate this and find new investors in his product; one that had the same fervor for technology and science as he did.He should have reached out to larger companies to be potential investors that would also fit into Seaway’s target market for potential customers, allowing for an easier sell to invest in the product and possibly develop a sales relationship in the process. Product Pricing: With a price tag of $9,000 for the Seaway HTH at launch, this is not the average consumer’s product.
This is an expensive purchase for the average commuter that walks around downtown and is insufficient for a person traveling longer distances than 17 miles without needing a charge.At this price point and these trade-offs it makes it becomes a lifestyle product and not a solution to an actual problem of the everyday commuter. It becomes impossible for the Seaway to break into the average itty consumer’s life.
The manufacturing cost as well as the sale price must be lowered before it goes out to capture the public market. Market Research: From concept to design and development, Seaway was closed off from the public and to its target markets until it was finally released. This hinders Seaway from knowing how the product would be perceived, how it should be designed, positioned and marketed.This would have helped Seaway start asking simple questions in the design and development process; such as how much storage a user needs on the Seaway, where the product would be parked or stored, and charged while traveling. If they had this knowledge beforehand, they may have put in extra effort to design a product answers these questions and reduces its barriers to be accepted by everyday use. Although it may be too late for its initial product launch, this is still the approach that Seaway should take for future iterations of their products.Regulatory Restrictions: As outlined above, a “Pilot Program” developed around large corporate and government customer would have helped gain acceptance for the product into urban environments. Seaway could have used these successes to make a case for it is as safe as any other mode of transportation.
It would have allowed the product to be in the publics’ eye longer, providing some training on how the technology works and its benefits rather than making assumptions on its lack of safety.This would have in turn help the product get around any regulatory restrictions. Missed Marketing Opportunities: Seaway should have worked with residential community developers to help design communities and downtown areas to help Seaway gain faster traction into people’s lives. This in essence is what Kane had envisioned, constructing cities around the Seaway as the primary mode of transportation.
Seaway should have also focused racketing efforts on communities and downtown urban areas where bike paths, and biking is a more popular form of transportation.A marketing campaign focused simply on the Seaway as a better alternative to bikes would have help gain its acceptance in smaller urban areas. One of the biggest concerns surrounding the Seaway was safety and confusion on how the technology was used and operated. Seaway could have partnered with companies like Cost, Bi’s and Cam’s Club to create mini training centers for customer to freely use the product and learn about its benefits and technology. It would be much easier and quicker for large stores and hopping centers to be constructed around the Seaway rather than whole cities.The Seaway was seen as a more cost effective and ‘greener’ mode of transportation than cars, and with gas prices always on the rise, Seaway missed its opportunity push its self as a green product that runs on electricity rather than gas. In conclusion, though Seaway missed opportunities prior to launch and shortly after launch, the product is still such an innovate breakthrough that it has potential to pick up momentum and truly take over. However in order to do so, it must consider the suggestions outlined here.