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Product Development Directors

History

The product development field is closely tied to the economy. After World War II, the U.S. economy started to strengthen. Money flowed into various industries, and consumers soon had more disposable income. As companies' budgets increased, they started to focus on improving their existing products as well as developing new products. The field of product development directors and other product specialists took root.   

By the 1970s, the product development and management field had grown to the point where professional associations were established to provide standards and guidance for the industry. In 1976, for example, the Product Development and Management Association was founded as a non-profit professional society. Today it provides education and certification programs, among other resources, and has members from around the world.

Since the 1990s, the growth of computers, the Internet, and social media has contributed to the current global marketplace, increasing the importance of product development directors. Innovations in market research technologies and analytics make it possible for companies to improve products and services and develop new ones that fill gaps in the marketplace. Companies now rely on product development directors to help them develop products and services in various categories.  

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