Apple Veterans form New Business-to-Business Acceleration Agency
Silicon Valley, California — October 25, 2012
SPICE to help transform business development, product management, and marketing teams into high-performance growth engines producing insanely great products and customer experiences
Apple veterans Michael Connor and David Fradin have announced the formation of SPICE Catalyst LLC (www.spicecatalyst.com) a new business development, product management, and product marketing services company. SPICE helps companies accelerate and sustain new business growth by aligning strategy, teams, process, and systems to enable continual learning, insanely great innovation, and total customer experience has driven products and customer engagement.
“In today’s B2B markets “insanely great” is the new “good enough. To drive sustainable growth requires continual learning and innovation, experience-driven design, agile development, ongoing collaborative customer engagement and tremendous business agility,” said the founders of SPICE Catalyst.
SPICE Catalyst is focusing on the Business Development, Product Management and Product Marketing groups because these groups skills and their interaction, processes, and use of information determine the success or failure of new growth business and product initiatives. A company and a product’s success requires an integrated approach to methodology, information, analytics, decision making, and systems. Most companies struggle to successfully bring these together and integrate them in a timely fashion. As a result, up to as much as 95% of new products fail in the marketplace resulting in wasted investment and lower productivity.
In other words, SPICE Catalyst helps businesses deliver Successful: Product Innovation and Customer Experience.
SPICE Catalyst assesses, identifies gaps, and then helps align strategy, people, process and systems to build a business culture and process that delivers continual learning and innovation starting at the product level all the way through the customer experience. SPICE provides the latest thinking to business teams and helps them integrate and align their initiatives, information flows and decision processes to keep the entire organization working as one to focus on the initiatives that deliver truly breakthrough value.
“When Steve Jobs threw an Apple // box at my desk, because of the poor experience trying to get the computer out of the box, I learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of creating an awesome total customer experience,” says Connor. “What Steve beat into us was how important creating a great customer experience was from walking into the Apple store, selecting the product, purchasing the product, opening the box, using the product to getting support and service. Doing it right makes for a ‘delighted customer’. Doing it wrong results lost customers and market momentum.”
“The first product manager for the Apple /// was Steve Jobs,” said Fradin. I took over to do “end-of-life” for the product line from Trip Hawkins who went on to found Electronic Arts and Taylor Pohlman who brought us PowerPoint. I successfully transitioned 500 developers to Guy Kawasaki for the Macintosh. “It is part of Apple’s values to be loyal to our customers and it was important for the developers and the 75,000 Apple /// customers to be able to continue in business after we shut down the Apple ///.”
“These and other principles we have learned in our careers at such companies as HP, Adobe in addition to Apple and others helps us understand what it takes for innovative products and total customer satisfaction. In fact, its the kind of things that have lead Apple to being the most valuable company in the world.” says the SPICE Catalyst founders. “It has been a foundation for the over 100 products and services we have worked on over the years”.
Connor and Fradin represent over 60 years of business development, product management, and product marketing experience.
Connor is a forward-thinking business marketing leader with an extensive background in business development and marketing of cutting-edge technology including cloud and SaaS solutions. Mike is credited with key contributions in penetrating new accounts and markets, attaining product leadership positions, and driving sales with start-ups as well as Fortune 500 companies. He is a strong believer in experience-driven design, agile development, and delivery. Connor was the Apple // product line manager with over 20 product managers reporting to him from 1978 through 1984.
Fradin’s background and experience also include large companies and small. He has developed leading-edge best practices for and trained hundreds of product managers and product marketing managers at such companies as Capital One Bank, Cisco including Cisco Services, Cisco China, Cisco India, Singapore IT Federation, Infosys, Cognizant, Coaxis, Pitney Bowes and others. Fradin was the Apple /// group product manager and business unit manager with 17 people from 1983 to 1984.
Between them and their teams, they were primarily responsible for the computer systems and peripheral hardware, software and operating systems driving Apple sales from the company’s start to over $1.9 Billion.
For more information:
dave(at)spicecatalyst.com or +1 (408) 892-5025