All aspects of product management are changing rapidly and at unpredictable speeds. Product Development, Distribution, Packaging, Promotion, Advertising – all these elements can affect product life cycle and make life cycle management unpredictable.
AOL was the largest Internet provider just 20 years ago. Now, it is just a shell company. Lotus 1-2-3? Gone. Brands of blue jeans seem to last a week. No product/service/brand is too big to fail. Brands that prevail change. Look at Banana Republic. BR started out selling army/navy surplus and travel books. Now it is high end casual clothing. The point is product life cycles are shorter and you need to:
Geographic barriers are gone for distribution of virtual products and are dissolving for physical products. Virtual content is already accessible worldwide. Access to physical products is accelerating at ever-increasing rates because of the buying power and product access available to huge brick-and-mortar outlets like Whole Foods. Add to that the ability of virtual retailers like Amazon to deliver physical goods with astounding immediacy.