If you look beyond Randall Coe's titles at Bosch, first as director of product development and now as vice president of marketing, you'll find a complex, energetic ToolHound. Coe's leadership and rebellious streak have produced paradigm-shifting tools–stuff you use every day–and a business culture that dares to be great. And for someone leading the charge, it's ironic how Coe describes himself: "I'm a student of human behavior. That's what product development is all about."
Credit: Photo: Hot Shots/Fritz Geiger
With fierce competition in every category, Coe is committed to out-thinking his competitors, and he isn't afraid to make mistakes. "Executing a successful product is about maintaining a disciplined focus on your target and identifying needs users don't express verbally. In other words, seeing what's not there–yet."
In addition to Bosch's 4000 table saw, two other products have been watersheds for Coe. He ran against the corporate grain with the PowerBox boombox–a runaway hit–but learned his biggest lessons from a dud. "The top-handle wormdrive was a spectacular failure. Innovation is about failure; you must be willing to fail. I keep one in my office as a constant beacon of what
But it's not just from his office that Coe develops features and brand leadership. He put himself through college as a car-penter and hasn't dropped his tools since. "Wood-working and home improvement inspired the miter saw," he says. "I build Mission Style furniture, among other things, and I'm always learning."