iPD Partners LLC is a highly collaborative, professional, consulting firm. We provide a full spectrum of services for the assessment, research, planning, conceptualization, design, development, and project management of new and enhanced websites and online products, hence the company name: Internet Product Development Partners. The key characteristics of the company are as follows:
- A strategic business-orientation, which is highly unusual in our field.
- A human-centric view of the things that we create, design, and develop. For example, we design websites to be virtual forms of real companies, whose functionality is modeled on the best people who perform these functions.
- Visionary, pioneering, and groundbreaking insights about how the Internet is evolving and how businesses can best take at advantage of it.
The Consequences of the Maturation of Online-Business
Online business has evolved and matured since its inception around fifteen years ago. The novelty of websites and online products is wearing off for companies. Claims that online business is an entirely new species, having nothing in common with offline business, and therefore needing to be left strictly to Internet experts, took a real hit with the dotcom bust, and have been looking even worse since then. Companies have begun to demand that their online efforts justify themselves in terms of measurable direct and indirect business-benefits, just as their offline efforts must.
In addition, websites have expanded far beyond their early use as mainly marketing vehicles. They now include a variety of business functions, including sales, support, and others. The variety of online products and services has also exploded. As a result, the success of online companies, business functions, products, and services depends heavily on effective use of high-quality information and communication—the essence of everything on the Internet. This requires a radically different approach to web design and development: shifting from an engineering or building model to an information/communication-design model, and from mere usability to how quickly, easily, and effectively users can achieve their true aims.
Perhaps because these changes have been gradual over the years, the dramatic consequences of this new level of maturity have not been widely appreciated or reflected in the planning and methodologies used to develop online products and services. Many companies lack the managerial and organizational expertise to plan and guide complex development projects to achieve these more demanding business objectives. Combined with weak research, product-innovation, design, and development practices, these inadequacies cause many projects to fail, while others produce terrible ROI for their companies.
The Opportunities Presented by This Coming of Age
However, this new maturity also represents a coming of age for online business. It means that online business can now offer a complete “virtual” form of offline business (which would be the “real” form). It is no longer merely a minor sideline to a real business.
Websites can now become virtual companies. Their functions are virtual forms of the standard line-departmental functions of the real business: production, services, R&D, marketing, sales, and support. Online products and services (applications, utilities, tools, etc.) are virtual forms of offline products and services, whether the offline versions exist or not.
The bad news is that businesses will no longer give their online efforts a free pass, thinking they are not really part of their core business. The good news is that all the high-quality models, methods, and tools that have been developed over decades for making real businesses successful can now be brought to bear—with a little modification—to make online business truly successful. Websites and online products are no longer black boxes, mysteries that only their high priests can understand.
How iPD Meets These New Challenges
iPD was formed to meet the emerging set of needs of online business brought on by this new level of maturity and growth that the field is just now achieving. iPD is one of the first consulting firms to recognize the implications of this coming of age for online business, perhaps because of our principals’ thirty-year history of innovations in the fields of management and organizational consulting and coaching. We have adapted many of our highly effective management and organizational services to this new virtual domain. This enables us to meet and exceed the new standards that businesses are placing on their online efforts.
In addition, our advanced models, criteria, and tools for information and communication quality, feedback, and systems enable us to design online business functions and applications that make it truly easy for users’ to accomplish their true purposes. These innovations are spelled out in the Methodology section of this website.
Our services include, but go far beyond, designing new and improved websites and online products. They actually enable the entire virtual business to become highly successful. Some of these services for virtual businesses are as follows:
- Discovering and evaluating new business-opportunities
- Planning, forming, and launching new business ventures, products, and services
- Strategic research, aims, and planning
- Investigation, analysis, and evaluation of user aims
- Online departmental-functions that approach the quality of the best offline ones
These services permit companies to make well-informed decisions about what to design, for whom, how, and why—the business benefits the company can expect to realize. They define the strategic objectives and success criteria for the projects that will follow. We then build on these results through state-of-the-art services for all aspects of creating, designing and developing innovative websites and online products and services. We take full advantage of the rare opportunities offered by the latest generational leaps in Internet-based technologies and major shifts in media forms.
These innovations enable us to develop much more effective products and user-interfaces than our competitors in less time, with less trial-and-error. Our results make sound business sense, with a high, enduring return on the company’s investment.
Please see Bios of Company Principals for the backgrounds of our president and vice-president.