Transforming Invention into Innovation: The Conceptualization Stage - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Transforming Invention into Innovation: The Conceptualization Stage

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  1. Transforming Invention into Innovation:The Conceptualization Stage • Bill Scott • Vasu Rao • Jeremy Stone Transforming Invention into Innovation

  2. Business Strategy • In high-technology firms strategy is formed by the innovative activities of low level technical and business people • Elements of strategy formulation • Technical competency • Market need • Corporate interest • Within domain of present and future Transforming Invention into Innovation

  3. Successful Innovation • The best technological breakthroughs and the most unmet needs by themselves do not result in successful innovation Transforming Invention into Innovation

  4. Alternative ways to conceptualize opportunities for Innovation • Marketing – Direct towards market needs • “Demand Pull” • Scientists – Technologies with commercialization potential • “Technology Push” • Linking marketers and scientists together to jointly develop new technology with good market possibilities Transforming Invention into Innovation

  5. Approaches to Innovation • Technology Push • Need or Market Pull • Coupling or Double Linking Transforming Invention into Innovation

  6. Technology Push • Typically, researchers looking for solutions to existing problems invent new technologies, and the technology is ‘pushed’ into the market • Need for the product in the typical user community has not been identified • Intel DRAM, Post-it notes, Polaroid camera Transforming Invention into Innovation

  7. Technology Push • Initial project takes shape mainly within technologists wanting to develop a product with enormous economic implications • The researchers perform environmental scanning • Internal and external knowledge are put together in arriving at a breakthrough solution Transforming Invention into Innovation

  8. Technology Push – Flow of Activities Internal scientific and technical knowledge 1 2 Technical issues and problems Technical solutions 3 1 5 2 4 External market needs External scientific and technical knowledge Transforming Invention into Innovation

  9. Technology Push – Problems • Linkages can fail if researcher’s ideas do not match corporation’s interests • Difficulty in gaining financial support – chicken and egg problem • Bootleg research – a way around funding problem • Changing circumstances can influence research Transforming Invention into Innovation

  10. Technology Push – Problems • The quest to solve a tough technological problem might cause the scientist to oversee easy solutions • Likely to get locked into a particular technical solution developed by the inventor, even if it is found unsuitable or inferior • Tends to address the needs of atypical users • Technical people have limited knowledge of the true user marketplace Transforming Invention into Innovation

  11. Need Pull • Unsatisfied needs of the marketplace create the demand for new solutions or products • R&D is driven by specific market goals • Business/market trained specialists identify needs, for which technical staff strive to find a solution Transforming Invention into Innovation

  12. Need Pull – Flow of Activities Internal scientific and technical knowledge 3 2 Technical issues and problems Technical solutions 4 3 1 2 5 External market needs External scientific and technical knowledge Transforming Invention into Innovation

  13. Need Pull – Potential Pitfalls • Users usually do not have a clear idea of their own needs with respect to a truly new product • Market needs could be too broadly or too narrowly defined to arrive at a proper solution • Tends to create a perpetually moving target, and breeds confusion for the R&D people • Too many market-oriented compromises destroy a basically sound innovative idea Transforming Invention into Innovation

  14. Need Pull – Potential Pitfalls • Possibility of not being able to generate the required technology to solve an existing problem • Absence of a product champion with vested interest in the product Transforming Invention into Innovation

  15. Double Linking • Technical linking and need linking are coupled for optimal solutions • Market needs evaluated at the same time technical breakthroughs are happening in the laboratory • This linking asserts the presence of a market for the potential product when it hits the marketplace Transforming Invention into Innovation

  16. A Viable New Business Opportunity in Corporate America • Problem must be considered relevant to top management (for current operating divisions or created by external events) • Technology Sources must be available or they may need to be developed by the organization • Market demand must be present (based on a marketer’s personal search, an area of customer dissatisfaction, or the potential for new need satisfaction) Transforming Invention into Innovation

  17. Effective Conceptualization • Successful managers are able to link ongoing technical streams with corporate commitments and relate them to market needs • Steve Jobs/IBM Small Talk Programming Tool • Only a small number of development managers are able to do this early in the development cycle • A large amount of the unknown in the innovation process Transforming Invention into Innovation

  18. Innovation Traps • Original Conceptualization isn’t always the best • Scientists and R&D Employees need to be flexible and open to modification (Do not become over-committed to a given system) • Alternative solutions often turn out to be more worthwhile than original breakthrough • Don’t be too flexible or too broad on the technical or market side • Don’t allow the market success of the innovation to be too dependent on the variable environmental component of the market (United and Pollution Control Issue) Transforming Invention into Innovation

  19. Any Questions??? Transforming Invention into Innovation