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Why Businesses Struggle with Lean Startup Methodologies

Recently John Bacon, Chairman of iP2Biz, was a guest contributor to Flashpoint, the blog of the Industrial Research Institute. This is a reprint of that article.

by John Bacon

I’m a lucky guy! I have worked for very large high-tech manufacturing companies, led software company public offerings both in the U.S and in Europe, and co-founded my own company. Plus, I am faculty for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corp program.

Some of you may know I-Corps as the result of an audacious initiative between your federal government and Steve Blank, serial-entrepreneur turned academic, and the thinker who launched the Lean Startup movement. Continue reading “Why Businesses Struggle with Lean Startup Methodologies” »

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Executive Participation in Front End Innovation

by Bill Weber

As we said in an earlier post, you don’t have to change your culture, change your processes or change your organization to innovate; all you need to do is take your existing team, your existing processes and add Front End Innovation (FEI) discipline. The key question an executive needs to consider in this context is how much of Front End success is dependent on their involvement. The short answer is: a lot. Continue reading “Executive Participation in Front End Innovation” »

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Using Independent Innovation Partners to Vet New Ideas

by Bill Weber

 

If you’ve ever been a vice president at a large company, you will immediately recognize the story I am about to tell. You’re sitting at your desk late on a Friday afternoon working feverishly on a project that absolutely must be completed soon if your company is going to hit its quarterly numbers. It’s important work, and you’re glad to be doing it even if the pressure is intense. A shadow darkens your door. It’s your boss, and she says something like this, “I was just talking to the CEO, and we have a pretty interesting idea for a new product.”

Continue reading “Using Independent Innovation Partners to Vet New Ideas” »

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Can’t Figure Out Why Your Revenue Is Falling? Call an Independent Expert

by Bill Weber

If your revenue is falling, it’s bad. If you don’t know why, it’s worse, especially since there are only two possible causes:

  • Your company is executing badly, or
  • There are things going on in the market you don’t understand, and these unknown things are stealing your business.

We’ve recently had several Fortune 500 clients experience this issue with isolated product lines. These are accomplished, efficient companies. Execution wasn’t the problem. So they took a look at their traditional competitors and found no recent innovations in products or business models that changed the competitive landscape. Further, there were no external forces they could discern that would explain decreasing demand for their products. Yet their product-line revenue was declining. To their credit, this set off warning bells for their executives, and they turned to us for assistance. Continue reading “Can’t Figure Out Why Your Revenue Is Falling? Call an Independent Expert” »

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Harnessing the Power of Front End Innovation

By Bill Weber

In our last two posts, we described why it is that you can’t engineer disruption and how to distinguish Sustaining, Breakthrough and Disruptive Innovations. Given that iP2Biz partners with large companies to help them develop and execute their innovation agendas, the natural question is, “If you can’t engineer Disruption (and Breakthrough Innovation is hard), why even bother?” It’s a good question with a simple answer: if you run your company as you always have and learn to harness the power of Front End Innovation, you can dramatically increase the odds of capturing both Breakthrough and Disruptive Innovations. Continue reading “Harnessing the Power of Front End Innovation” »

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If It’s Great But Not Disruptive, It’s a Breakthrough

By Bill Weber and Kevin Arne

If you read this blog regularly, you know what iP2Biz does, and the very short story is this: our fixed-price engagements help big companies innovate without changing who they are as an organization.  We will never recommend that a client reorganize their business units, reengineer their culture or install new processes.  We don’t “consult;” we get stuff done.

But now I’ve used the word “innovate.”  You know what’s coming next, right?  Of course you do: disruption.  Everybody with a business or an idea for a business is talking about it all the time. “We’re going to disrupt this,” and “We’re going to disrupt that.”  But we know with a high degree of certainty that they won’t because—as we pointed out in this earlier post—you can’t engineer disruption.  So why is everybody going on about disruption all the time? Continue reading “If It’s Great But Not Disruptive, It’s a Breakthrough” »

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You Can’t Engineer Disruption

By Bill Weber and Kevin Arne

In a recent blog post, titled The Fallacy of ‘Disruptive Innovation’” on The Wall Street Journal’s website, Karl Ulrich, vice dean of innovation at Wharton, decried the improper use of the term ‘disruptive innovation’ as a buzzword for entrepreneurs.

He’s absolutely right: disruptive innovation is rare, but everyone claims they are in the midst of making it happen.  Why the disconnect?  Are entrepreneurs simply spouting buzzwords to attract investors, or do they have a fundamental misunderstanding of disruption?  We think the latter, and here’s why . . .  Continue reading “You Can’t Engineer Disruption” »

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iP2Biz or IP Broker

by Bill Weber

For people deeply versed in the way innovation actually works (or doesn’t work) in a big company, the value iP2Biz brings to the table is immediately apparent.  But most executives are not innovation specialists, and our first meeting with a potential client often involves this question: “We have some really cool technology, can you help us sell it?” Continue reading “iP2Biz or IP Broker” »

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Innovation Series – Part 7: Outside Input and Collaboration

In the final video in the iP2Biz video on Innovation, John Bacon talks about support and teamwork and how it adds value and effectiveness from outside influences and collaboration.

Back in December, iP2Biz started a series on Innovation and Product Development in today’s environment. For the full video series, click here. Continue reading “Innovation Series – Part 7: Outside Input and Collaboration” »

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The Generic Innovation Process

Generic Innovation ProcessCorporations are constantly searching to improve methods to maintain leadership positions, stay close to customers, and provide profitable solutions to existing and emerging problems. In the hyper competitive and interconnected world we live in, a strong innovation strategy is key to sustainable growth and success. However, the establishment of an effective corporate innovation process that delivers consistent results has proven elusive. There is no generic innovation, or “one size fits all,” process that seems to be available to enable breakthrough innovation. Continue reading “The Generic Innovation Process” »

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