Friday, April 20, 2012


Designing Breakthrough Products -How companies can systematically create innovations that customers don't even know they want


  • Thanks to the collaboration the internet has made possible and the open innovation it has spurred, we live in a world where ideas and solutions are abundant.
  • The main challenge facing innovation managers today is how to take advantage of this wealth of opportunities, says the author, a professor of innovation management.
  • Being first to launch a new technology is less important than being first to envision its greatest untapped market potential.
  • Well-known examples of companies include Nintendo, Apple, and Swatch.
  • All three have used technology to radically change the meaning of offerings in a category--why customers buy or how they use a product
  • Most companies focus on employing new technologies to better serve customers' existing needs. Those that have technology epiphanies strive to create products and services that will provide customers with a completely new reason to buy a product:
  • Here I explain how companies can systematically produce technology epiphanies. He illustrates the process with the story of Philips Electronics' creation of Ambient Experience for Healthcare, a system that uses LED displays, video animation, radio-frequency identification sensors, and sound-control systems to relieve the anxiety of patients undergoing CT, MRI, and other scans
  • Instead of assessing technologies in light of customers' existing needs, as conventional innovation processes do, Philips focused on developing a brand-new vision of the user experience.
  • In markets where everyone can easily gain access to new technologies, the big winners often are not the companies that obtain them first and use them to enhance existing products.
  • They are the companies that understand how those technologies can be used to create better customer experiences than existing applications do.
  • And the biggest winners will be companies that learn to systematically produce one technology epiphany after another.

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