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” »

Read More

Creating Innovative Technologies

creating-innovative-technologiesCreating innovative technologies with external technology providers involves risk. Internally, development activities and intellectual property rights are controlled. In contrast, working with an external technology provider involves sharing, removes complete control over the effort, and creates fuzzy lines regarding intellectual property due to the joint nature of discovery.

When external innovation is embraced, despite the risks, it helps a corporation to succeed. Managing issues with respect to each individual party’s concerns mitigates risk and builds trust. Well-managed risk provides the following key benefits: Continue reading “Creating Innovative Technologies” »

Read More

Improving as a Technology Innovator

325853852_61fdbdbffaSuccessful technology innovation means looking at problems in different ways to find solutions which may not be uncovered by conventional “requirements” techniques. An impactful innovative solution is one that provides more customer satisfaction when delivered and anticipates the user’s future needs. Most of the elements you need for your next innovation are available either internally or externally. You just have to know where to find them and how to combine them. Continue reading “Improving as a Technology Innovator” »

Read More

Technology Innovation: Why Is it difficult?

front-end-of-InnovationTechnology Innovation is inherently difficult due to several key investment and execution challenges which include:

  • Advantage – There must be an advantage associated with the final product. The advantage must be greater than the inevitable problems and costs, or risk, associated with change by the end user. The funding sources must be convinced that the risk is acceptable to proceed with the development effort.
  • Timing – Timing is always important for investment and execution. Innovations can be discovered mid-development cycle after resources are already committed to other “higher priority” projects.
  • Existence of enabling technology – Sometimes the technology for innovation does not exist for a complete solution internally and needs to be found outside the organization, iterated, and combined to make a useful innovation.
  • Buildable – The solution must be buildable. That is, the solution must be easy to assemble, to test, and to maintain high reproducible quality.
  • Cost-benefit – There must be a clear, identified cost-benefit in terms of money, time, efficiency, or some other evaluation measure. The evaluation measure must be meaningful to the adopter with no immediate increase in end user costs.
  • Staged – The execution must be implemented in a staged approach to reduce risk of adoption.

Continue reading “Technology Innovation: Why Is it difficult?” »

Read More

3 Factors to Validating External Technology Options

There are three key factors to validate the potential utilization of external technology in the innovation process.

  1. Is the technology ready for use?
  2. Is the technology directly applicable to our need to provide an innovative solution?
  3. Do we have the ability to absorb the technology in to our process?

‘Readiness’ is a measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies. Has it been sufficiently proven to be suitable for immediate application and incorporated into a solution?  The Department of Defense defines several steps to help determine readiness. Some of the steps include:

  • Basic principles observed and reported
  • Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • Component validation in relevant environment
  • System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

Next, does the technology solution directly apply to the solution we want to achieve or does it need to be iterated slightly to enable maximum innovative potential? This is a more subjective area that requires refinement among the external technology partner and internal system solution architects and engineers.  Applicability is the key to a success innovation process.

Finally, Wesley M. Cohen and Daniel A Levinthal in Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation, describe the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends that is critical to a successful innovation process.  An objective examination must be made after the technology is deemed applicable and ready as to whether the corporation has the internal skills to truly understand and implement the innovation.

Read More