Trying to Catch Up in a Changing Market

March 6, 2012 in Competition, Customer Behavior, Demand Generation, Differentiation, Processes

Because of fragmented segments and increased digitization, category lifecycles are getting smaller. This could affect your business for the following reasons:

• Your customers are looking for the latest and greatest thing.

• Your product development could always be trying to catch up.

• Your products could enter the market too late, meaning your innovations have missed the boat before they even had a chance to take off.

The best way to maximize returns in a market that currently moves and changes at the speed of the internet is to enter the market early. Enhancing product development efficiency and getting your products in front of consumers before your competitors will gain your company a huge competitive advantage.

The key to increased profits and maximum returns is to set the market rather than chase it and watch it dwindle away. Adapting to fragmented segments and product digitization could make the difference between a large profit or a huge loss.

Submit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousDigg ThisSubmit to reddit

R&D (Invention + Process) = Competitive Advantage

February 14, 2012 in Competition, Differentiation, Innovation, Processes

As much as new product development relies on an underlying creative – and thus unpredictable – process, it also relies on planning, forethought and analysis. Blending these organizational “left brain/right brain” activities is what produces the successful innovation. Such was the subject of a Business 2.0 article that featured German optics maker Carl Zeiss (“Priming the R&D Machine,” September 2006, p. 60). By virtue of its longevity alone, Carl Zeiss can make a claim on the ability to continually drive to market products that fit customer needs; not many companies get to be 160 years old.

But the company can also make a claim that its longevity is no accident. The company today earns about two-thirds of its revenue from products that are less than five years old. And one of the biggest reasons why is that company is ‘fanatical’ about research and development. “Innovation is about more than invention,” the company’s CEO, Dieter Kurz said in the article. “It is about creating something useful that gives the company an advantage.”

The process that Carl Weiss goes through to ensure a stream of innovative products is as intense as the resources that go into it. Some 1,600 R&D employees bring hundreds of new ideas to its annual innovation conference; about 25-30 of those will be selected for a six-month review process. Those that make it this far then go to prototyping and further vetting. It’s a process that ensures the place of ongoing creativity within the company.

Submit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousDigg ThisSubmit to reddit

The Silicon Valley Habitat – Top Ten Characteristics of the Entrepreneurial Haven

October 19, 2011 in Competition, Culture, Innovation, Risk

On average, software and Internet companies invest 11.4 percent of their sales on Research & Development (R&D), according to Barry Jaruzelski, a partner with consulting firm Booz & Co. The leaders in the Silicon Valley spend as much 32 percent of sales on R&D. What is apparent in the Silicon Valley is “Companies that invest earlier are the ones that survive and win,” says Ray Wang, an analyst with the Altimeter Group in San Mateo, California. Read the rest of this entry →

Submit to StumbleUponSave on DeliciousDigg ThisSubmit to reddit