Tech Entrepreneurship Andrew Maxwell MBA P.Eng Lecture 2
Agenda for this class
Sources of new opportunities
Entrepreneurial vs intrapreneurial activity
Start up vs. license
Decision making process
Practical intelligence (real life problems)
Analytical intelligence (critical analysis)
Creative intelligence (new ways)
Sources of ideas for new ventures
Customers. Understand their needs – vitamins and pain killers.
Existing enterprises. Understand gaps in their current products or how they can be improved.
Technology understanding. How new technology can facilitate new opportunity or business model.
Personal experience. Identify a specific gap in the market based upon personal experience.
Methods available for generating new venture ideas
Focus groups used for initially screening ideas and concepts.
Brainstorming by using the spontaneous contributions of participants.
Problem inventory. Consumers are given a list of problems for a general product category.
Creation of opportunity
Political or regulatory change
Social or demographic change
This leads to creation of new:
Products / services medical device
Production method computerized drug development
Ways of organizing e-health
New raw materials bio-diesel
Types of knowledge
R and D intensive
Locus of Innovation
Information Technology Energy
Industry life cycle
Economies of scale/brand
Opportunities favouring existing firms
Economies of scale
Opportunities favouring new firms
Competence destroying change
Cannibalize existing business
Ease of adoption Pain killers vs vitamins
Pain killers solve an existing problem of which people are already aware. If they do this better than current solutions, customers need to have them.
Vitamins provide enhancements to current solutions, in some cases providing benefits customers were not even previously aware of, they are therefore nice to have.
Which do you think would be easier to get customers to adopt?
Open source as a business model
The open source movement started in the software industry, but is now becoming a model for technology innovation and in turn creating completely new business models.
What it is and what it is not.
What drives it?
What are the opportunities being created and how do you make money from them?
Open source – what it is
Open source is based on a community of common interest, product developers, users and interested third parties sharing their knowledge, experience and resources to create high quality solutions rapidly, cost effectively and with enhanced feature sets, compared to traditional development.
Intellectual property developed in the open source model, belongs to the community and can be freely used by all members of the community, usually at no cost, but subject to certain constraints.
Open source – what it is not
Open source development is not free to non-community members.
It is protected and belongs to the community who set rules around:
Open source community set their own rules:
Who can join and who has what role
Who can use the output of the development and what direction future development will take
The importance of the internet
Whilst open source software development has been possible due to the internet (which was actually invented to achieve this objective). The internet can have a much more profound role on disruptive innovation across many technologies:
Facilitates interaction between developers in different fields and communities and directly with customers
Facilitates rapid technology development across locations and disciplines
Solutions of interested to limited segments can be sold via the internet, relatively cost effectively.
Opportunity recognition process
Universal Industrial Success Curve Shows Most New Business Development Efforts Unsuccessful 1 10 100 1000 10,000 Number of Ideas 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Stage of NBD Process 3000 Raw Ideas (Unwritten) 300 Ideas Submitted 125 Small Projects 9 Early Stage Devel. 4 Major Devel. 1.7 Launches 1 Success Source: G. Stevens and J. Burley, “3000 Raw Ideas = 1 Commercial Success!” Research-Technology Management,40(3):16-27,May-June, 1997. Runner-Up, IRI “Best Paper of the Year.” CIC Impact Zone
Product Planning and Development Process
Idea stage: Idea is generated
Concept stage: Validate the idea
Product development stage: Find a first customer and create a demo
Test marketing stage: put out on trial
Commercialization Roadmap Revenue $$$ cover “sins” Relationships Bring Dollars $$$ to Show it works for the Customer I Believe in you $$$ Money Pursuit Distribution centric Market centric Customer centric Distribution centric Technology centric Customer centric Faith in idea Technology centric Attitude Shift First Customer Demands Beta Configuration & Testing Customer Driven Features Market Opportunity & Impact Technology Capitalization Demands Licensing Considerations Business Resources Business Proposition Business Market Demands Channel Options Competitive Position Market Dynamics Sales Take the Order. Activate Stakeholder Participation Embed the Customers voice Prove Assumptions Goal Launch Maximize Align Validate S E L L Stages of the CIC process for guiding innovation to be market -ready I N V E N T Critical Factor Assessment Multiple Application Assessment
A short document, identifying and quantifying the opportunity (not the business, not the financials). Provides enough data to decide if it is worth looking at the opportunity in detail, including:
What is the product or service, the underlying technology and the business model?
How have you validated that the market/opportunity exits (personal research, third party feedback)?
Who are current/future potential competitors, how will you compete?
How will you make money and how much can you make?
What are the longer term opportunities for growth?
How much time/resource do you need to get to these levels of results?
What needs to be done to turn this opportunity into a viable venture?
Do you need to attract external finance? If so can you make a strong case for potential investors (including identifying a likely exit strategy)?
Have you created an entrepreneurial team with suitable background and experience?
CIC Validation process
Technology (uniqueness, protectability)
Market (opportunity, competition, structure)
Management (leader, team)
Business Model (margins, revenues, costs and implementation issues)
Will lots of people be interested in buying this product?
Great product, clear need, can see lots of customers lining up for this one.
Good product, of interest to a limited number of people.
Can not se many people buying or switching to this product.
Do you think that the product is ready for customers, or is there still some development required?
Product complete and ready for sale, investment required for marketing and/or inventory build up.
Product design finished but needs some more work before ready.
Needs some more development before it is ready.
Will other people be able to copy the product easily?
The product is patented or very difficult to copy.
It will not be that easy to copy the product.
Anyone could copy it easily.
Did the inventor have a customer in mind when they developed the product?
They have a first customer/s in place who will purchase the product/service as soon as it is available.
Some clear early customers who have been consulted in developing the product, but have not yet agreed to purchase.
There are no first customers identified.
Does the inventor know how they are going to sell the product to customers?
They understand the market and have a realistic marketing plan and a distribution strategy in place.
They have explored a number of realistic options, but there are no agreements in place.
Limited thought has been given to this issue or plan proposed not realistic.
Did the inventor persuade you that there will be a large market for this product?
Large market (over $20 million) identified and achievable
Medium market (over $5 million) identified and achievable
Market size small (less than $5 million) or unconvinced that the larger market identified exists.
Management / Business Model
Do you think that the management team of the company have the necessary experience to run this business?
Significant relevant experience in running a business of this type.
Limited experience, but some clear knowledge of the issues which the business is likely to face.
No evidence of the experience required.
Do you think they understand the financial side of running the business well enough?
Complete understanding; - amount of money asking for is enough to last them until they are making money (usually in less than 12 months).
Good understanding; - amount of money requested probably enough (may need to last them up to two years)
Not sufficient evidence of their financial understanding or they will run out of money before they are profitable.
Food for Thoughts
How would you go about monitoring and evaluating the new products being offered by existing companies? Is this a viable technique for generating new ideas? Why or why not?
Which do you think is more important in evaluating a new technology business opportunity, the management or the technology?