From the Idea to the Market Innovating Your Business - Confindustria


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This booklet (available in Italian as well) was published by Confindustria (the main entrepreneurs association in Italy).
It tries to give some practical suggestions on how to start-up an innovative company or how to innovate an existing one.
The suggestions proposed are valuable because come from the observation of real business cases of existing start-up or innovated companies. Analysing the origin of the success, or the fail, of who had the boldness to make a change has been possible to get some interesting elements, useful for a start-up or an innovation strategy.
Part of this work was inspired by the bestseller book “The art of the Start” of Guy Kawasaki and was realized in the Innovation & Technologies Commission (CIET) of the Engineers Association of Rome (Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Roma).

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From the Idea to the Market Innovating Your Business - Confindustria

  1. 1. Progetto grafico: PRC RomaPRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION IMPRESE X INNOVAZIONE PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION From the Idea to the Market Innovating Your Business A path to focus and increase know-how and opportunities. This guide was created thanks to the contribution of the Innovation & New Technologies Commission (CIET) of the Engineers Association of Rome (Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Roma). Suggestions to improve the utility of these guides and to indicate other topics to be explored are more then welcome:
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION Looking at the market exploiting the opportunities within the company. (Francesco Vellucci) …………………………………………………………. 1 The first step: critical analysis of the business idea…………...……………... 2 FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS  Formalize the idea in a feasibility study……………………...……….. 4 LOOKING AT THE MARKET EX- larly those focused on the market and new How to transform the idea into opportunity. (Luca Franchi)………………... 6 technologies an active collaboration in PLOITING THE OPPORTUNITIES  Presentation of the business idea into the company……………...….. 6 terms of proposals, exploiting the potential WITHIN THE COMPANY that comes from their experience and their  Getting the most from internal feedback………………………………. 7 To compete effectively on the market we knowledge. must be able to make use of all available This means capitalizing on and valuing  Guidelines for the development of a Business Plan…………………... 7 resources, creating the conditions to stimu- internal resources which offer employees late development and growth in the mean- the chance to feel even more of an integral  How to draw it up……………………………………………………….. 8 while. part of the strategy and success of the com- There is no doubt that the most valuable How to bring the business idea to the market. (Raffaele Vincenti)….………. 9 pany. assets of the company are those "ideas" that It is important to involve people who be-  Identify the target markets………………………………………………. 11 can be properly translated into innovations long to different professional fields, who in processes, products and services. have insightful ideas but who are often  Defining a sales strategy………………………………………………… 12 It doesn’t matter whether its products, pro- limited to a specific area and sometimes cesses or services aimed at making the have difficulty in translating their own in-  Create something really innovative………………………………….…. 14 company itself more efficient or improving novative ideas into economic terms, in the  Focus on the goal………………………………………………….…….. 15 its offerings on the market: the result is the preparation of a business plan that includes production of added value from which the costs, revenues and operating margins.  Take action………………………………………………………………. 15 company will benefit in the continuous The creation of a program aimed at en-  Define the Business Model…………………………………….……….. 18 challenge imposed by the global competi- hancing these skills in the company is one tion. of the most stimulating challenges for the  Define an action plan………………………………………….…….….. 21 To achieve this goal, the company must entrepreneur. be able to get from its employees, particu- Conclusions……………………………………………..……………….……… 31 The authors……………………………………………………………………… 33English edition project by Raffaele VincentiGeneral project support & contents integration by Francesco SerraProofreading by AES RomeItalian version available at: 1
  4. 4. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION THE FIRST STEP: CRITICAL ANAL- SWOT Analysis. Borrowed from business, YSIS OF THE BUSINESS IDEA SWOT analysis is a logical process that allows you to highlight weaknesses and Generally there is no lack of ideas, and strengths of the business idea and make the often the risk is their abundance: but, un- data obtained immediately usable. fortunately, there is a shortage of good ide- In general, we tend to standardize the as- as. sessment: if too pessimistic, we are likely It is important to know how to evaluate to abandon innovative ideas and if too op-PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION them, and try to figure out if its worth in- timistic we risk business adventures with vesting in them in terms of time and re- uncertain chances of success. sources. To this end it is appropriate to use SWOT analysis helps us to make decisions a methodology aimed at verifying the feasi- considering the idea from four different bility of a sustainable project, highlighting points of view. the expected benefits, the technical issues, Regarding the business idea the SWOT the target users and potential customers. analysis examines 2 factors: In practice we need to:  internal factors, which constitute its 1. self-evaluate the degree of innovation of the business idea; 2. identify points of strength and weakness, In order to evaluate the idea, it is useful to It is necessary to do some research! opportunities and threats; submit it to the examination of trusted ex- Maybe the idea is good, but it has already 3. formalize the idea in a preliminary pro- perts of the company, prompting them to been implemented, perhaps in an even ject. highlight the “less convincing” aspects of more successful way than anyone imag- Self-evaluating the degree of innovative- the idea itself. ined, and cannot therefore offer the com- ness of the idea means being able to ab- Is it also useful to consider what added petitive plus that the company expects. stract oneself, observe it from the outside, value the idea can contribute to the current Searching patent databases on the Internet, evaluate it. Before focusing on the specific expectations of the company and its cus- where it is possible to find information on technology or the particular process, try to tomers, without considering the answer technologies and products already regis- answer some basic questions: comprehensive, at least at this early stage. tered, will prevent you from working on  Is the idea itself clear, complete, valid? It is in fact possible that by deepening this existing products or services. analysis and gathering additional infor- Identify strengths and weaknesses.  Is it possible to describe it in operative mation, opportunities currently not under- terms, i.e. through functionalities and If we arrive at this point, it is because we stood could be seized and this fundamen- think the idea is worthy of more attention. performance achieved? tal question should be proposed again in It is then the case to submit it to a more  Does it meets the needs of someone the future. detailed in depth and structured analysis, who can benefit? for example, through a process known as 2 3
  5. 5. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION strengths (Strength) and weaknesses impact of negative factors. If, after the ana- the aspects to consider in the prepara- (Weakness); lysis, strengths outweigh weaknesses and tion of the project Quality Plan.  external factors which indicate opportu- it is possible to think of a strategy for max- The most complex part of the feasibility nities (Opportunities) and threats imizing the opportunities and reducing the study consists of developing a preliminary (Threats). identified threats, we can go ahead to the design showing, by providing real and next step. The effectiveness of this method of investi- measurable data, costs and benefits arising gation depends on the ability to perform a Formalize the idea in a feasibility study from the transformation of the business cross reading of all the factors identified At this stage it is necessary to identify idea into a “product/service”. when defining the business objectives of technical and economic dimensions of the will be presented to the company. The feasibility study is a valuable techni- the relevant product/service. It is necessa- business idea, so as to transform it into a  Description of products/services/ cal tool, necessary - but not sufficient - toPRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION ry to enhance strengths and carefully as- project and develop a structured feasibility processes to be developed, even with allow the company to decide. sess the defects in order to maximize op- study, divided by subject: the support of a graphic description of The next step is the development of a real the immediate impact of the technology Business Plan, which, in more strictly eco- POINTS OF STRENGHT POINTS OF WEAKNESS adopted. nomic terms, answers the question: "Does  Which benefits would introduce in the sphe-   Description of the proposed architectu- the project really represent an opportunity re of our own sector? re for the solution and specification of for the company?  Which are the benefits related to its adop-  What could be improved? the technology of the components to be  TABLE OF CONTENTS OF A FEASIBILITY STUDY employed.  Which is the profitability for the company?  Expected costs analysis (provisional),  Introduction OPPORTUNITIES THREATS both in terms of project costs and in  Reference scenario (starting situation).  terms of budget, in order to evaluate the  Identification of the problem/opportunity (needs of the potential customer/user that you intend to occasion of changes, such as: TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the solve with the process/product/service offered).  changes in technology; proposed solution.  Usage scenarios and benefits offered.  changes of market trends; ging trends and habits.  Economic evaluation of the benefits ob-  Constraints and regulatory framework.   tained by the process/product/service.  Explanation of the project. business sector of your idea;  Provisional analysis of the risk associat-  General characteristics of the process/product/  social changes regarding the interests and ed with the project, indicating the nec- service offered. the lifestyle of people. to be imminent). essary actions to minimize its impact.  The master plan of:  Architecture.  Formulation of the implementation plan,  Indications for technological components. portunities and minimize risks.  Clear explanation of the objectives in indicating the provisional time, the re-  Dimensions. The characteristics of the SWOT analysis terms of competitive advantages for the sources required and the proposed or-  Plan (project Gantt). model can be better understood through company, including the information re- ganization of work (Project Planning).  Risk factors of the project. the above SWOT matrix. garding, at least qualitatively, the poten-  Guidelines of the project that will provi-  Definition of the product life cycle. According to the points highlighted by the tial market share that we intend to de some indications about how to im-  Support to the system in operation. SWOT analysis, we must balance the po- achieve. This important step will be the plement the previous actions, the most  Cost / benefit analysis. sitive and negative elements so as to give early stage of the Business Plan which  Indications for the project execution. appropriate methodologies to use and precedence to the first, minimizing the 4 5
  6. 6. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION HOW TO TRANSFORM THE IDEA “business idea” and determine if its con-  Improvement. ground for further proposals. INTO OPPORTUNITY tent refers to a product/service (product for The company is focused on improving You should also exploit the companys short) or a business process. what it already does, since it continues knowledge management system in order At this point we need to go beyond the Regarding the product we have: to work with new technologies in the to accelerate the study of best practices purely technical aspects, and present the  realization of a new product; same market context. and assess the internal impact project to the potential funders, even if we  quality improvement of an existing prod- (managerial, technical and financial) of intend to fund it ourselves.  Differentiation focused on technology uct. any eventual implementation. The company differs from its competi- Presentation of the business idea inside Regarding the process: Consider that even if the goal of finalizing tors through its ability to manage and the company. the proposed innovation is not achieved,  development/improvement of produc- use technology. When presenting the idea into the compa- the company management will be attenti-PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION tive/operative activities;  Diversification (Break through). ny it is helpful to change the technical ve and will positively evaluate proactive  creation of a new segment/market; The company innovate itself with the point of view, previously adopted. Being people and the leaders of improvement confident in the viability of the project we  competitive expansion on existing mar- introduction of a new product/process or initiatives. are proposing, we should review it, paying kets. through the "creation" of a new market. The type of innovation introduced could Guidelines for the development of a Busi- attention to two important aspects: the The market positioning is critical, because aim at: ness Plan form and the content. from it comes the choice of parameters  The document should be as short and The first step is therefore to make all as-  Differentiation focused on the needs. and metrics to be used for the evaluation concise as possible, without compromi- pects of the innovation that we want to The company differs from competitors and monitoring. sing a clear description of the idea: a introduce explicit. because it is able to give a prompt and The way the presentation is performed is good business plan should not exceed After an initial brainstorming session, it is consistent response to new market as important as its content, because it has 20 pages. necessary to contextualize the type of needs. the important function of communication/ persuasion of management.  It must be simple: one must bear in The best way to proceed is to choose a mind that management might not have style of presentation to illustrate all aspects an adequate technological background. related to the potential of the innovation  If you plan to develop a high-tech pro- proposed, then prepare a document de- duct, it should be described simply in scribing the idea, and its potential impact order to make it understandable even to on business. non-technical people. Getting the most from internal feedback  Well structured and articulated: it is im- The first step is to identify the steps follo- portant to follow the appropriate edito- wed by colleagues working on similar rial rules (see next paragraph). initiatives in order to act according to in-  In particular, the essential areas are a ternal rules, avoiding problems and effec- table of contents, executive summary, tively reaching the right people. This chapters arranged in a logical sense and, aspect is very important because it centra- of course, appendices with possible atta- lizes the evaluations and it prepares the chments. 6 7
  7. 7. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION  -market: the evidence of How to draw it up. Business Plan - Proposed table of contents A. Marketing strategy B. Sales forecast Generally, there is more than one way to be shown. In the early stages of the busi- 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7. DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION prepare a business plan. We should al- 2. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE A. Production processes ways remember that, beyond the format, be avoided; generally no more than one or A. Background B. Requirements the primary objective of the document is two lines of product/service. B. Present scenario 8. ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT to have access to funds for an existing bu- C. Concept A. Organizational impacts  Demonstrate the benefits of the product siness or a startup. 3. OBJECTIVES 9. FINANCIAL PLANS for end customers/users. During the compilation of a Business Plan A. General objectives A. Financial considerations  Be realistic and do not overestimate the we should follow a defined index that also B. Specific objectives 10.RISK ANALYSISPRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION potential of the product/service. becomes a logical guide for all aspects of 4. OWNERSHIP A. Potential hazards  Make a projection of the Business Plan the innovation. This will help to give a A. Business description B. Risks evaluation into the future: try to describe future comprehensive view and a standardiza- 5. MARKET ANALYSIS C. Proposed actions for risk mitigation trends, over a period of not less than tion of information. A. Overall market 11.SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS three years, and explain the manage- B. Specific market segment A. Summary ment plan. This period may also vary C. Competitive factors B. Proposed scheduling depending on the size and type of busi- 6. MARKETING 12.APPENDIX ness and is also a key parameter for the calculation of the return on investment.  Be realistic in estimating the potential HOW TO BRING THE BUSINESS revenue. We have to develop scenarios IDEA TO THE MARKET on the expected demand, which descri- In this chapter we grant ourselves a licen- be the best hypothesis, the worst and the se. A license for the style and the lexicon most realistic. We also need to develop adopted, which is quite unusual for this the sales forecast based on real market type of publication. An emphatic style and data and not on the potential of the pro- lexicon, suited more to a live event than duction systems. to an audience of readers. It is a clear and  Highlight present and potential difficul- conscious choice, we really wanted to ties: management obviously will beco- pass by all means available (including me aware of them sooner or later. Trying style and language) the essence of the to identify problems in advance will message of this chapter: strengthen our credibility. Business is “Emotivation”  Illustrate, with particular emphasis, the An improbable and not existing neolo- companys return on investment: the gism, which synthesizes emotion and mo- period of time must obviously match the tivation; elements quite necessary (but not projection of the Business Plan. sufficient) to undertake the business 8 9
  8. 8. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION it will be used. Identify the target markets 2. Innovative products or services are not The market reacts to innovation in a com- simply bought by customers but are pletely unpredictable way and it is not "sold" to them. always appropriate to focus efforts on a specific area. The context in which companies operate So how can we move? of course is not favorable and not many customers will be willing to take a chance With flexibility and enhanced market by adopting an innovative product or ser- orientation, trying to promptly identify vice. ongoing changes and new consumer de- Most customers are reluctant to take a mands; in fact many companies are plea-PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION chance on something new and risk un- santly surprised when they realize that pleasant surprises and, before making a positive results come from unexpected purchase, they should always see a long "areas". list of high-sounding references and suc- The matrix below provides an interesting cess stories. We therefore need to work approach to think about the relationship intelligently to overcome this resistance. between the target market and the use of activity. - by the competition of emerging coun- The company investing in the purchase of the product or service, and highlights the Nowadays, as never before, we under- tries. a new product or service is like a “talent "reaction" of the company to the result. stand the need to move towards a know- Innovation in any company means desi- scout” who bets on human resources re- Almost all companies want to position ledge-based economy, moving away from gning and implementing a business pro- cognizes their great potential, partly unex- themselves in the top box on the left, but an economic model based on the mere ject. “Driving” the business idea on the pressed, and assumes a certain degree of the real opportunities are in the box below transformation of rough materials and as- market - and the related vision - requires risk. on the right; we must be flexible and wil- sembling that emerging countries have the ability to understand the context in If we think about it, every one of us is so- ling to exploit customers and unexpected adopted and with which we compete which we are acting and to take actions metimes called to evaluate new products uses. weakly. that originate from mechanisms deduced or services for the benefit of the company This phenomenon shows that companies In this chapter we will deal with a com- from practice. we work for. cannot have a complete and comprehen- plex aspect, the shift from the business The observation of the business and the idea and its evaluation to the proposition careful reading of the history of many EXPECTED CLIENT UNEXPECTED CLIENT on the market, even identified as companies, allows us to define two pro- "implementation". Bringing out, using and blems that make the result of the introduc- developing knowledge within the compa- tion of an innovation on the market uncer- ny allows us to create new business op- tain: EXPECTED USE AS EXPECTED POSITIVE REACTION portunities through innovation. 1. The entrepreneur cannot predict how Innovation is seen as an effective way to the market will react to the introduction change tactics in the global competition, of its product, who will buy it and how UNEXPECTED USE POSITIVE REACTION GREAT SURPRISE characterized mostly - but not exclusively 10 11
  9. 9. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION sive view of the market; all focus on ex-  Disadvantages: high costs to make the pected customers and expected uses of message widespread. the products and are not always ready to Innovative method: allowing potential exploit opportunities that arise unexpec- customers to test the product or service. tedly.  Advantages: targeted promotion of the Defining a sales strategy product/service conveyed by its benefits. Sales success is achieved when the entre-  Disadvantages: higher initial diffusion preneur is able to create credibility and time, compensated by the positive feed- develop a direct and personalized rela- back about benefits “on the field” thatPRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION tionship with the customers. Traditional activates a virtuous promoting process. methods, such as advertising or telemarke- The innovative method frees the customer ting, are excellent ways to maintain busi- to verify the validity of the product on the ness contacts with existing clients. field with a very limited engagement. But how can we create new contacts with In implementing the innovative method, potential customers? the most appropriate strategy is the gra- dual approach to your product, avoiding One effective way is through the organiza- any risk or liability for your client. tion of meetings on a smaller scale, confe- The market is the stage for a performance rences and seminars, appearing in the me- orchestrated by actors that determine the dia of one particular sector and proactive- life of a product and the company that ly use your network of contacts taking part proposes it; actors who do not have a con- in industry initiatives. duct or service to our potential customers. People often believe that there are good stant behavior, but variable depending on Choose the right customers We have to identify the exact "decision- quality products and services on the mar- factors determined by the particular histo- The customer more willing to accept our makers" who can influence the purchase ket able to meet the main needs they rical moment, the current economy trend proposal is someone who sees in our in- of our products. have. and other socioeconomic aspects. novative product an opportunity for his In general, management uses specialists That’s not always true. The difficult task of All this makes the work of doing business company. An opportunity able, for exam- and consultants to evaluate innovations the innovator is to break down the tradi- challenging, sometimes risky but, above ple, to improve his position, to increase its and make decisions about them, so no tional barrier, try to engage and influence all, exiting. market share or reach new target custo- matter how important and influential the potential customers who have more or less The information resulting from the expe- mers. manager might be, the one who will deci- latent needs. riences of those who were bold enough to This is the type of customer that we de your fate might just be the specialist. How can this objective be achieved? try - with success and perhaps after some should "engage" to promote our innova- Let customers test your product failures - can be summarized in a few im- Traditional method: by advertising. tion. Have you ever wondered why the market portant points:  Advantages: Rapid spreading of the Identify the decision-maker is so cautious in adopting innovative prod-  create something really innovative; brand and information related to the Great care must be taken to identify those ucts or services?  focus on the goal; product/service. who decide on the purchase of our pro-  define the business model; 12 13
  10. 10. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION  define the action plan; us the momentum that makes us much vation or to reach a challenging goal, two  define and/or verify the positioning of more effective in achieving what we want. essential elements are needed: the company; Of course, motivation is not a guarantee  Consistent focus  explore the possibility of a partnership; of success, but enables us to get access to our strongest resources during the process.  Consistent action  build and promote the brand; Errors are generally considered as the Thomas Edison was a leading pioneer of  reach the goal. events that break down the entrepreneur this philosophy. A century ago Edison was Let’s explore all of the points one by one. but, in reality, they are important mo- strongly committed to create the light bulb Create something really innovative ments of learning and growth. and performed more than ten thousand The determination needed to face a path Learning from our own errors, and those failed attempts before achieving success!PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION of innovation originates from the purpose: of others, enriches us and make us strong- Even though his business seemed absurd, it is essential for its realization. er and more effective. he was firmly convinced that it was feasi- Whether we speak of the creation of an Winston Churchill said: “Success consists ble and finally succeeded. innovative product or a new innovative of going from failure to failure without loss business, we should aim at the creation of Focus on the goal Take action of enthusiasm”. something meaningful, bringing a con- "What product or service could your com- On the basis of the above indications, the Paradoxically, failures give the entrepre- crete improvement to society, which will pany create?" second of the two necessary elements to neur knowledge and distinctions and al- improve the quality of people’s lives. The answer to this question outlines the achieve a defined goal is the action: con- low him to get closer to his goals, simply Committing to accomplish something like organizations mission. sistent action (constant and effective ac- because they allow him to refine the pro- this is a highly motivating end and gives The companys mission statement has be- tion). cess he follows. come almost fashionable. Browsing the It is necessary to get from the "theoretical" Internet you can read dozens of business to the "practical" plan; at this stage medi- missions until you become bored. In fact, tating, planning, writing business plans the words used are almost always the and presentation documents is not very same: excellence, satisfaction, leader, helpful: quality, best, customer.  thinking about an innovation is stimulat- It is advisable to postpone this initiative ing; until the time when we have achieved  beginning to define an implementation success and we will be more credible plan makes it possible; thanks to a more consolidated offer and positioning.  planning concrete actions to achieve it To achieve this condition is important to makes it real ... as long as we face the first define a formula which, although pu- challenge with the right mindset! blic, is particularly useful within the orga- We must work on the product, on a proto- nization. type, on a simulation or a test by a group From the best schools in the development of experts, partners or customers. of individual performance we learn that to At this stage we shouldn’t be obsessed by make a big change, to introduce an inno- perfection. One of the most common mis-14 15
  11. 11. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION takes at this stage is too many trials to a business plan is much more important final users is not absolutely defined and achieve perfection, "excessive reflections" than the idea to be realized. the attention is focused on the product on the questions that we have (and to  Attract public attention. Through the we are creating. which we cannot give an answer) and the new product we will receive feedback Intuitive. In this case the customers, the fear of embarrassment about the inade- from the public: consensus and criti- competitors and supply sources are quate quality of the product the potential cism. It is normal to receive criticism: do known and contacts have been develo- customers could perceive. not worry about it. Worry about indiffe- ped in the industry. The product hasn’t The goal should be to produce a product rence instead. been created yet, but a substantial part or service that is "good enough" and not of the work has been done in another  Choose the logic of design. The logic keep it in the pipeline until it is perfect. area. behind the creation of a product may bePRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION Over time we will have the opportunity to of different types: Experimental. There are no points of refine it. reference in cases where the innovative Creative. The creative process is aimed Here are some helpful tips at this idea introduces new paradigms and at bringing to the market something "activation" stage: cannot be verified with existing tools. "innovative", different from what is al-  Think big. Aim high and try to create ready available. The target in terms of  Explore the market with prototypes. Un- something innovative, different, going fortunately it isn’t always true that by beyond what already exists. introducing a new product on the mar-  Don’t be alone on the journey. It is im- ket which is cheaper, faster, lighter, mo- portant to rely on the support of a capa- re elegant or more durable clients will ble staff. This is essential for success, adopt it instead of existing ones. In the whether you are starting a new business first period of the lifecycle of a product/ or want to introduce an innovative service - or a business - there is consid-  "What to do" is less important than product in your offering portfolio. The erable uncertainty about what should be "how to do it." There are many exam- success or failure of a venture is deter- created or the exact needs of the cus- ples of companies that have achieved mined by management. Management tomers. In the conception stage of the excellent results in various fields: food, will determine the efficiency with product it is necessary to test the market furniture, footwear, infrastructure, infor- which the project will be implemented by contacting the greatest number possi- mation technology, etc. There are also and the effectiveness with which the ble of potential customers, analyzing countless other examples of failures in inevitable problems will be solved. It is their impressions following the descrip- these fields. Remember that the success essential to identify people who have tion of the product/service that is in your of the business project is not only relat- proven over the their career that they mind. You may have had the most origi- ed to the originality of the idea, but also are able to achieve challenging goals, nal idea and organized an efficient and above all, how it is implemented to learn from their mistakes and to face group of managers, but not have any and proposed. And this depends on and reverse a situation in the most criti- customers interested in your product or management; the choice of an appro- cal moments. service. If there is any positive feedback priate group of managers to implement we can move to the implementation 16 17
  12. 12. FROM THE IDEA TO THE MARKET INNOVATING YOUR BUSINESS PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION Almost certainly it wont be perfect, but cannot be described in few steps is pro- or small, is safe from obsolescence: from we don’t have to modify it; we will modify bably not of immediate feasibility. The the regional distributor of auto parts to the it if necessary when it is already known description should be possible with a giant multinational internet services com- and appreciated. few sentences, using words with clear pany. This is a logic that has been successful for and understandable terms, avoiding Heres an example: many innovative companies. "trendy" management-terms (mission The American internet services giant of critical, strategic, synergistic, globally, the Time Warner group, America Online Define the Business Model excellence, etc..). The rules to follow (AOL), dominated as the undisputed num- For start-up companies are: brevity and clarity. ber one worldwide until a few years ago,  Take inspiration from success stories. It when it was surpassed by Yahoo, whichPRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION The next step is to define a business mo- is very difficult to create a brand new became the number one search engine. del and for this we need to find clear an- business model. The new economy has Now Yahoo has lost its leadership in favor swers to the following questions: introduced more innovative ideas than of Google, a company created in 1998 by  what is the origin of the necessary capi- two university students with a fund of $ we can imagine in this context, and to- tal? day the most advanced business models  how can we obtain it (if it is not owned have been designed and put into prac- by the company)? tice. It will therefore be crucial to adopt The first question will help us understand an existing and tested model, as much who the customers are and identify their as possible suited to our business pro- needs. The second focuses on defining the ject. most effective sales system which would For existing companies provide revenues greater than the costs. The introduction of an innovative product Follow three simple, but valuable guideli- or service to the market by an existing nes: company, makes it similar to a start-up. stage. It is recommended to build a suffi-  Be specific. Having the ability to For this reason the above advice (in the ciently evolved prototype, put it on the "define" the customer segment is a big previous section) remains valid. market and carefully analyze the opin- advantage. In this case, the danger is to However, we want to make further consi- ions of the customers. We must not wait relegate the scope to a narrow niche; derations related to the perspective of to get all of the information we need starting from this consideration it is im- change with respect to the past, a past in before starting; this is almost impossible portant to highlight how many suc- which a start-up has obviously not occur- and will delay the launch of the product, cessful companies started focusing on red. In these years of continuous change which will impact negatively on our very specific markets and became big - business models and ways to create market presence. sometimes unexpectedly – and expan- wealth adopted from existing companies ded in the next stage. are becoming obsolete faster than in the The purpose of "starting up" is to achieve a timely first version of the product/service.  Aim for simplicity. If the business model past. No sector or type of business, large18 19