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Managing New Product Development Teams

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Managing New Product Development Teams
Topic: Managing New Product Development Teams CASE STUDY W/QUESTIONS (MUST ANSWER ALL DISCUSSION QUESTIONS)
Skullcandy: Developing Extreme Headphones1 In 2001, Rick Alden was riding up a ski lift and listening to music on an MP3 player when he heard his phone ringing, muffled in the pocket of his ski jacket. He fumbled around with his gloved hands, trying to get to the phone before it stopped ringing, and at that moment he thought “ why not have headphones that connect to both a cell phone and an MP3 player?” 2 In January of 2002 he had his first prototype built by a Chinese manufacturer, and by January of 2003 he launched his company, Skullcandy. 3 Building an Action Sports Brand Alden had an extensive background in the snowboarding industry, having previ-ously founded National Snowboard Incorporated ( one of the first companies to promote snowboarding) and having developed and marketed his own line of snowboard bindings. His father, Paul Alden, had played many roles in the indus-try, including serving as the president of the North American Snowboard Association, which helped open up ski resorts to snowboarders. His brother, David Alden, had been a professional snowboarder for Burton, and a sales repre-sentative for several snowboard lines. Thus when Alden began creating an image and brand for the headphones, it only made sense to create a brand that would have the kind of dynamic edginess that would attract snowboarders and skate-boarders. Alden could also use his deep connections in the snowboarding and skateboarding worlds to line up endorsements by pro riders and distribution by skate and snowboard shops. As Alden notes, “ I’d walk into snowboarding and skateboarding shops that I’d sold bindings to or that I’d known for 15 years, and say, ` Hey, man, I think you ought to sell headphones.’” Soon he was developing…...

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