photo © 2010 Sean MacEntee | more info (via: Wylio)
Consider this quote about ideas, product development and innovation. “It’s also important to wipe out the myth that successful new product development comes from a flurry of creative idea generation from the R&D labs. New ideas are a dime a dozen; the challenge is to shape them into concepts and nurture them into new products with a competitive advantage.”
I saw the quote in an article in the Marketing News. What year to you think the quote is from? 2011? 2010? No, 1990.
Thomas Kuczmarski wrote those words in an article entitled Shame on America for Bogging Down Innovation.
Two key ideas he brings forth:
1) Ideas need to be shaped into concepts and nurtured into new products.
We need to work the ideas into more fully formed concepts. Those concepts need to be thought through, tested, adjusted, tested, adjusted, tested as many times as necessary to create something new and different.
2) Competitive Advantage
Creating or “copying” someone else’s products or services cannot create a competitive advantage. Without a competitive advantage the competition will catch up or surpass you.
Crocs Versus UGGs
Consider Crocs shoes. Everyone and his brother have created knockoffs. We can purchase a pair in CVS for less than $10. Contrast that with UGG boots. There are knockoffs. However, on the back there is a really big “UGG” that can’t be copied. The other day, every girl I saw had on boots. Each one was UGGs.
R&D Will Solve It All
Kuczmarski also went on to deflate the “R&D will solve it all” bubble. He said, “Moreover, R&D often is the victim of overly optimistic expectations. At most companies, R&D dollars are being funneled into finding ways to lower costs or improve efficiency of existing products, rather than discovering new inventions and technology that can lead to innovative new products.”
We need to truly perform both Research and Development. Focusing on implementing Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing is looking to maximize profits today. Rather, creating new products and services that will power our businesses for the next decade should be the goal.
Old ideas or new ideas? What to you think? Please comment below.
1) Do you have a well-developed product development process?
2) Do you agree with Kuczmarski’s point of view?
3) Where do you find your ideas for Product Development?