5. Product Development  

A process that ties in with the actual designer — like the good people at Nike cooking things up in the Innovation Kitchen and testing and building things lighter, faster, and stronger. Determining the factors that will help the sneaker be successful and profitable during the construction stage. Figuring out how to balance what the company CAN do with what the company SHOULD do. These are the people responsible for helping execute some of the greatest ideas in footwear history.