Tech Visionaries and Models

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Module 4 from class on Creative Modeling for Tech Visionaries

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Tech Visionaries and Models

  1. 1. Creative Modeling for Technology Visionaries Qualitative & Simplified Quantitative Modeling for Product Creation Module 4: Tech Visionaries & Models David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois 61801 [email_address]
  2. 2. What’s a TV? What’s a Model? <ul><li>Tech Visionaries: (TVs) UIUC research by Profs. Griffin, Price, and Vojak. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key people who pick problems, create products & launch them into markets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study their personalities and processes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TVs model markets, organizations, and products: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do they model? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From qualitative to quantitative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t start with differential equations. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Roadmap <ul><li>Traditional view of new product development and heroes & champions. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology visionaries approach is different. </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling characteristics of TVs: MP 5 . </li></ul><ul><li>TVs model relentlessly & differently. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s a model? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Types & economics of modeling. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are models used for. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The epistemology of engineering knowledge. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Traditional View of NPD <ul><li>Have attempted to rationalize new product development (NPD). </li></ul><ul><li>Steps: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biz case construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercialization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preceded by a fuzzy front end (FFE). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Technology Visionary Process Griffin, A. et al. (in press). Voices from the field: How exceptional electronic industrial innovators innovate. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
  6. 6. Domain of Innovation <ul><li>Interative process gauging 4 items: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational hurdles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological feasibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market acceptance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TV understands that he/she lives in a system, and job is about system change. </li></ul>
  7. 7. “Steps” <ul><li>Problem finding </li></ul><ul><li>Plan, then execute </li></ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Post-invention dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Perform own market research </li></ul><ul><li>Playing with others throughout process </li></ul><ul><li>Pursuing insight throughout process </li></ul>
  8. 8. Problem Finding <ul><li>“Well there was this problem with being able to X.” </li></ul><ul><li>TVs universally start from interesting customer problems. </li></ul><ul><li>“When you come across an area where your customer says this is too difficult to do, that is a license to go into business.” </li></ul><ul><li>Customer pull, not tech push. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Plan, Then Execute <ul><li>“The problem definition was what sucked up the time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Defining the problem takes time and customer input </li></ul><ul><li>“ You are really a deadly accurate machine if you have done your homework.” </li></ul><ul><li>New work is breaking this down into components. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Development <ul><li>Study was remarkable for what was not said about development. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs take development for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>This is bread and butter. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs are technical virtuosos. </li></ul><ul><li>Need not (cannot?) articulate something so deeply ingrained. </li></ul><ul><li>Disciplinary knowledge: 10 years plus of technical expertise. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Post-Invention Dissemination <ul><li>TVs help seek customers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They know there is a real problem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can find customers even when “marketing” cannot. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collecting customer problems for next gen: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I did go out and visit customers quite often…to help market our existing products by helping these people see how to use existing products and also at the same time, asking them for suggestions.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Perform Own Market Research <ul><li>“Our idiots in marketing ran a survey.” </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of interacting directly with customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that customers often cannot articulate their needs. </li></ul><ul><li>“What is much more interesting than what they say they want is their perception of their problem the way they say it.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Playing with Others <ul><li>Will reach out to people with complementary skills & build cross-functional team necessary for development. </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is a lot of personal interaction involved to persuade the various support groups in the company to play together as a team on this project.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Pursuing Insight Throughout <ul><li>“ Perseverance is key to ultimately achieving insight.” </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to describe (as with other creative processes). </li></ul><ul><li>Make no assumptions about the problem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different perspectives over time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask why not how. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand shortcoming of past approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Pursue depth and breadth: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a deep technical understanding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn peripheral technologies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combine technologies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get information from many sources. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try multiple approaches simultaneously & interate. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The MP 5 Model <ul><li>Personality: The way a person is hard-wired: how they think/behave. </li></ul><ul><li>Perspectives: The philosophy, world view, and the things that they hold to be important. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation: Activities/events that equip individuals to be more effective at product development. </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation: What motivates them to extraordinary invention. </li></ul><ul><li>Politics: The manner in which an individual interacts with the organizational environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Process: The actions and attitudes individuals take while executing a new product. </li></ul>Griffin, A. et al. (in press). Voices from the field: How exceptional electronic industrial innovators innovate. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
  16. 16. Personality <ul><li>Systems thinkers. </li></ul><ul><li>Perseveres. </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance for ambiguity. </li></ul><ul><li>Action-oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional: passionate. </li></ul><ul><li>Curious. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks challenges. </li></ul><ul><li>Accepts risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-aware & confident. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Perspective <ul><li>Business-oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Idealistic & believes in moral responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Courageous: willing to buck crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>Making mistakes as necessary, even important. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Preparation <ul><li>Digs deeply & studies across disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>Understands corporate goals intimately. </li></ul><ul><li>Understands business environment concretely. </li></ul><ul><li>Understands customer well. </li></ul><ul><li>Deeply technical within field and across peripheral fields. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Motivation <ul><li>Solve customer problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Make difference in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Pinball motive: Free game, do it again. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Politics <ul><li>Sell their ideas to others. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on positive influencing actions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Up/Down. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laterally. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Externally. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use facts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May create novel approaches. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. TVs Have Range of Modeling Skills <ul><li>TVs are consummate modelers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take data and model qualitatively. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand financial modeling and business feasibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make necessary quantitative models for technical design. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start from conceptual understanding of phenomenon. </li></ul><ul><li>Add complexity as needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Will reframe model to obtain different perspective. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What is a Model? <ul><li>A model is a system that represents one or more facets of some other system. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical model  facet combinations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawing or solid model  geometry. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prototype  geometry & operation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graph  variation of variable with independent variable (time, space, etc.). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equilibrium equation  select state variables at steady state. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic equation  variation of select state variables with time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulation  similar to equations. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Words and Models <ul><li>Foregoing examples typical engineering models. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is also used in modeling. </li></ul><ul><li>Many first models are verbal. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of verbal models: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single word or noun phrase. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Description of an object/process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dimension list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set of engineering specifications. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. An Economy of Models <ul><li>Engineers think in terms of models. </li></ul><ul><li>Have many models with different precision-accuracy and different costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Can we evaluate model usage rationally? </li></ul><ul><li>The economics of intellection. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Fundamental Modeling Tradeoff <ul><li>Error versus cost of modeling </li></ul>ε , Error C, Cost of Modeling Engineer/Inventor Scientist/Mathematician
  26. 26. Marginal Analysis <ul><li>Optimal thinking, when marginal cost of a thought equals marginal benefit to design. </li></ul><ul><li> C =  B </li></ul><ul><li>If cost higher than advance in design, thinking is uneconomic. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity added as necessary for understanding in NPD. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Spectrum of Models
  28. 28. What Are Models Good For? <ul><li>Many uses for models: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Description: describe the ways things are (were). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prediction: describe the ways things will be. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prescription: describe the way things should be. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key variables: time and change. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually assumes have extant object to model. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Key Distinction <ul><li>Modeling of imagined or desired objects versus extant objects. </li></ul><ul><li>What can we draw on? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing objects that fail in some regard. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar or related objects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analogically related objects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creatively concocted objects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Takes us back to the tabula rasa problem. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we even discuss that which does not exist? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Models Capture What We Know <ul><li>Models capture what we know about what exists or could exist. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of knowledge: Epistemology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of existence: Ontology. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What engineers know and how they know it? Walt Vincenti’s book. </li></ul><ul><li>Will consider another philosopher’s take: John Searle. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Bottom Line <ul><li>TVs as particularly skillful tech-biz-org innovators. </li></ul><ul><li>Model of TVa and their “process.” </li></ul><ul><li>Contrasts with rational NPD models. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs are consummate modelers, both broad and deep. </li></ul><ul><li>What is a model? Move beyond narrow engineering definition. </li></ul><ul><li>Model uses for extant & imagined products. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to understand physical vs. created or invented worlds more rigorously. </li></ul>

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