Product Development

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Courtesy of IBM.

Putting It Together: How to Succeed in Distributed Product Development

The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.

Image courtesy of Flickr user rishibando.

The 5 Myths of Innovation

This article explores the process of innovation in 13 global companies. Many of the standard arguments for how to encourage innovation were confirmed, but some surprises were uncovered as well. The article organizes its key insights around five persistent “myths” that continue to haunt the innovation efforts of many companies. The five myths are: (1) The Eureka Moment; (2) Built It and They Will Come; (3) Open Innovation Is the Future; (4) Pay Is Paramount; and, (5) Bottom Up Innovation Is Best.

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Bringing New Ideas to Fruition

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It's not always easy to bridge the gap between academic research and the business world. Two recent articles offer perspectives on different aspects of the process:

TURNING IDEAS INTO START-UPS. A recent New York Times article highlights university "idea incubators" -- such as MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation -- that help professors bring their innovations to market.  Notes The New York Times:

"M.I.T.

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The Practice of Global Product Development

Best practice in product development (PD) is migrating from local collaboration to global collaboration. Global product development (GPD) represents a transformation for business, and it applies to a range of industries. The objective of this article is to present frameworks that can help companies address strategic and tactical issues when considering GPD. The concepts have been developed through discussions with more than 100 companies in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Courtesy of Volkswagen

Which Innovation Efforts Will Pay?

For many companies, developing new products is a hit-or-miss proposition. Some businesses with successful innovation practices are relying on a new analytic tool to ensure that the hits are much more likely.

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A new look at older technologies

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Conventional wisdom has it that companies whose markets are being transformed by disruptive new technologies need to figure out how to switch to the new dominant technology. But two researchers argue that an alternative strategy –one that involves rethinking opportunities for the old technology — can sometimes make sense.

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Too little U.S. innovation?

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BusinessWeek chief economist Michael Mandel makes a case in the current issue of BusinessWeek that the U.S. economy has experienced an "innovation shortfall" in the last decade -- with successful commercialization of technological innovations slower to materialize than expected. The result, he suggests is an American economy that was weaker than it appeared.

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Innovation news

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Two pieces of news:
1) Some companies are trying an approach to launching products that involves less up-front market research and more experimentation in the marketplace.
2) Innovation is on the agenda of the U.S.’s new CTO.

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Innovation through volunteers

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We’re all familiar with the power of volunteer contributions in the open source software movement. Now companies are finding additional ways to work with volunteer contributors.

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Learning from innovation

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New research offers insights into the factors that affect how much an organization learns from its innovation activities.

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The open-source hardware trend

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Technology Review  has published an interesting article about the increasing popularity of open-source hardware — and its use by companies ranging from Nokia to start-up Chumby.

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Motivated to innovate

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Looking to spark innovation in your R&D workforce? Look for employees who are motivated by intellectual challenges — but not by job security.

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Winners of Cisco’s innovation contest announced

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Cisco yesterday announced the winner of its first global innovation contest, the I-prize. More than 2,500 contestants from more than 100 countries competed for prize money — by submitting ideas that could potentially form new billion-dollar businesses for Cisco.

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Is it a good time to start a business?

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The economic news of the last few weeks has been grim. But things may not necessarily be so bad in the start-up sector. Opines venture capitalist Carl Weissman in a recent posting on Xconomy, "The investments that I am making...a

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