You think you have a great Business Idea?

Ok, so it’s all about an idea…as a famous tagline for one of the telecom giants in India goes on to say, ‘An idea can change your life’…well for sure it can, but do you think your idea is indeed a ‘Great’ “Business” idea? What does it take to have your idea a successful business implementation? What are the measures you should run your idea through to see the light at the end of tunnel? The very first question that you should be asking yourself is;

Do you have the passion to see your idea through?

If you don’t, well then you should re-think. Because you should do what you love! If you’re not passionate about it, don’t even attempt it! Say you are passionate, but passion alone will not help…

Do you have the knowledge, required skills, and experience?

If you don’t have these, well networking helps you here…you should stick to what you know, and then try and gather support for your idea! Say you are passionate, and have the required skills too, but

Do you have a goal? What is that you want to get from your business and how will you achieve this?

If you don’t know what do you want out of your business, how will you achieve this…well you need to know that. Because there is no point having a map in your hand, when you don’t know where you are! Ok…so you now you have your goals also…wonderful, and things seem to be coming in shape here…but wait a sec…

Who are your customer? Any idea?

Hmmm, you should get your head immediately in to market research See here Because whatever you do…but if you don’t see or have a good customer base, you are bound to fail! Now comes the cracker…

Do you think your idea is big enough that people will pay for it?

Did you say ‘No Idea’? Well, Start Again , well if you are a millionaire you may not actually, but if you are not…your idea has to make money for you!

Ok, so good to hear that you know who your customers are, but

Have you tried it out in front of customer…even as a trial run?

Well here is an old advice…’Test the depth of water before you plunge in! Test the water with your product or service with a limited trial to gain valuable feedback. The most important measure for me to device the value of your idea is:

Are you making something which is filling the void? Which is able to fill a demand, meet a need or solve a problem?

Did you say NO? Well then why bother even starting with the idea…you should know what you are addressing, what the needs are! And this is my favorite

Can you define your product in 25 words sales pitch?

You said you can, wonderful. Ideally it should not take more than 25 words to define your product. Because Complicated won’t sell.

How about the resources?

Do you have the resources that you would need, the skillsets and knowledge that you are lacking? Where will you source your people, and/or offices? You should have answers for these if you want to have an ideal implementation.

The idea which is yours…is it similar to some other feature or product in market?

Your product must have features that set it apart: it needs unique selling points (USPs) to lure consumers away from competitors! Here is a brilliant video

Another very important thing in managing product is, do you know what are the limitation of your product!?

If you tell me…”No, my product is the best”, well I am sorry, it’s not…even the great iPhone has its own flaws…better you find yours…before your competitor does so… We would come to the logical conclusion of this article in next post…till then Happy Thinking 🙂

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Why did LinkedIn acquire Slideshare?

Social Media is gaining momentum in the business space and this is indeed a very strategic acquisition for LinkedIn simply because it has always been a professional networking platform.

SlideShare has been an app available through the LinkedIn interface for quite some time. Bringing the service in-house is only going to strengthen the alliance.

In a world of social CRM, where professionals in any department inside an organization are mining social networks for signals, content and messages from their clients, prospects, partners, and employees, a repository of content and a socialized inbox (Rapportive, a Gmail plugin, which LinkedIn acquired in February), clearly point to the future.

Why did LinkedIn acquire Slideshare?

CMMi – A crash course – Introduction to Dev 1.3

Capability and Maturity

CMMI is an acronym for “Capability Maturity Model Integrated.” The last word basically means that CMMI is a fusion of best practices from a number of different capability maturity models that were eventually combined into a single model that is reminicent of the CMM.

Maturity means that whatever the company is doing, the company does it in a way that is well-documented, where everyone knows what is expected of them and perform accordingly, where performance is not dependent on heroes, and where decisions are made on proper analysis of the situation.

So there are three types of CMMi : Development, Acquisition, and Services. We at Tekriti are going for CMMi Dev Level 1.3

What holds everything together? It is the processes used in your organization. Processes allow you to align the way you do business. They allow you to address scalability and provide a way to incorporate knowledge
of how to do things better.

We all have our problems associated in day-to-day activities, CMMi provides you a way to solve these issues by providing streamlined methods. We will discuss and learn about all this in a matter of time and with every session as we move ahead!

Let’s start talking by Maturity!

Levels of Maturity

Search for CMMI on the web, and you’ll find the five levels of CMMI:

  1. Performed. This is where everyone starts: Our company is making products and you’re earning money, so evidently you’re doing something right. But you’d have a hard time describing precisely how you’re doing it. Your project teams may be managing by the book, but they certainly can’t tell you which book. You’re performing, but you don’t really know why or how well. I mean if I ask you now, do you follow the processes, well you’ll say Aaannn….you know …no! Well I don’t buy your argument then…you’re following processes that is why you ‘re here speaking with us and doing what you are “Supposed” to do :).
  2. Managed. At this level, your company’s project teams are well-functioning according to ordered methods that are well-documented. There’s no guarantee that one project team is managed by the same methods as another team, however, and each time a new project is started, you may find the team reinventing the wheel.
  3. Defined. This is where all of the methods are well-defined across your company, and all of the projects perform according to those methods rather than figuring them out on their own. And this is what we are targeting at Tekriti!
  4. Quantitatively Managed. The projects perform according to the same methods as at the “defined” level, but at the quantitatively managed level the projects will have plenty of hard data to back their decisions and performance. This enables the projects to make sound decisions and quickly identify deviations, and it obviously requires that the defined processes have been followed for a while.
  5. Optimizing. At the last level, the organization continuously focuses on optimizing its work processes. This requires plenty of statistics from the quantitatively managed level.

Since all companies start at level 1, the CMMI model doesn’t state any requirements below level 2. Level 2 is concerned with project planning and processes for managing projects, requirements, and suppliers, and introduces “support” processes that are vital for further maturity: configuration management, metrics and analysis, and quality assurance.

Level 3 introduces a large number of processes. Risk management is added to the project management toolbox, and the project management processes are expanded with processes for integrating separated teams in the management. This level also introduces three processes aimed at defining processes at company level rather than project level. Level 3 also involves processes for constructing products according to well-developed requirements, and for verifying and validating the products.

Level 4 adds processes for assessing objectively how the various processes perform, and for managing according to objective metrics and statistics.

Finally, level 5 provides processes for maintaining an organizational environment for innovation and for identifying and correcting the cause of problems and inefficiencies in the processes.

Well…this is it for today….will catch you soon with other sessions…Happy “Processing” 🙂 Cheers!

Why do ideas come in the Shower!

An idea can change your life, and how many times that idea has come while you’re  taking a Shower? Here is why:
  1. Showering signals “a new day” or “new beginning.”
  2. You’re usually alone, with time to reflect.
  3. Interruptions are rare.
  4. The rush of water creates a kind of “white noise” that makes concentration easier.
  5. Shower stalls look like little incubation chambers.
  6. Water is associated with “contemplation” (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean.)
  7. Showering is a metaphor for “getting rid of the dirt” — the stuff that covers up what’s beneath.
  8. Showering is a ritual. Lots of creative people like to have little rituals to get their head in the right place.
  9. You can write your ideas on the walls with a water soluble pen.
  10. There’s not a lot of judgment or analysis going on in a shower.
  11. A hot shower opens the pores — and by extension, maybe the mind.
  12. Showering wakes up you. It makes you more alert.
  13. Showering is a relaxing and stress free experience. With nothing to stress about, your mind is free to roam new territories.
  14. If you shampoo, you’re massaging your head. That’s gotta be good.
  15. It’s hard to check your iphone or Blackberry in a shower.
  16. Albert Einstein also did his best thinking near a shower. (“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?”)
  17. Water is associated with “flow.” Being in the “flow state” is often a precursor to creative thinking.
  18. There is no deliverable expected of you.
  19. If you shower with a friend, and he/she happens to be in a brainstorming mode, lots of great ideas get sparked.
  20. Showering is easy. Not a lot of thinking is required to make it happen, which frees your mind to think about other things.

So Happy Showering 🙂

BrandYourSelf – You decide how you appear on Google!

What results do you get when you search for your name in Google?

At which page do you appear.

Which of your social profile comes on the first page of Google?

Ever thought of controlling this. Wouldn’t it be easy, if you had one easy way to handle all these results, the way people see you, google you…we found a solution, and solution is : http://brandyourself.com/

When people Google your name, make sure they find positive, relevant results.

This seems to be a very nice concept, and though I personally have applied for private beta, let’s see how soon I get access to this. I am eager to lay my hands on this. This seems to have a massive potential, I see it grow traction for Brands, and marketing too. A bit too early, but never-then else, a great idea!

If you want to have access to private beta, please try here:

http://brandyourself.com/

We will keep you posted with further results.

Never Start Innovation with an Idea

Are you trying to come up with the next big idea to jump-start innovation in your company? Try another approach. Gijs van Wulfen gives us three reasons why you should not start an innovation initiative with new ideas, rather formulate a clear and concrete innovation assignment. Here’s how!

The fuzzy front end of innovation confronts you with a lot of questions. Please have a look at book ‘Creating innovative Products and Services’ where author tried to solve this with the FORTH innovation method.

Never start product or service innovation with an idea. Of course: innovation is initially about ideas. About getting the right ones. And realising these ideas in practice. A shining light bulb has become a global symbol for innovation. Just check Google images and type innovation and then you will see proof of this.

There are three reasons why you should not start with an idea.

  1. An idea makes you blind. Once you got your idea you will probably fall in love with it. That’s a great feeling indeed. But love makes blind, unfortunately. The psychological phenomenon of selective perception will make you see only the positive points of the idea and only listen to people who are supporting you. And in trying to realise the idea you will run in 80 percent of the cases into a hard wall, which will wake you up. Not having an alternative available to realise your personal challenge.
  2. It’s very difficult to convince others. What happens when you tell your idea to someone else? Their first reaction starts often with a ‘but……….’. Others within your company will start criticising your idea the moment it is told to them. An important reason is that the idea is not theirs. Furthermore companies and organisations are organised to get a grip on the current operational processes and to give account of the results produced. Should the size and complexity of the organisation increase, innovation becomes more difficult. The process of innovation seems almost unnatural. A solution is getting ideas together in a team setting so the ownership of the idea is shared.
  3. Only one and a half out of seven new product ideas is really introduced. A number of studies on new product innovation (Robert G. Cooper, 2011) showed that for every seven new-product ideas, about 4 enter development, 1.5 are launched and only 1 succeeds. These are poor odds. There is a chance of around 1 out of 5 that your idea will reach the market. So what do you do when your boss, the vice-president marketing or the innovation board stops your new product idea? Do you have any alternatives available to realise your business challenge? So never bet on one horse. That’s the message.

So, how should you start innovation?

You should never start an innovation expedition unprepared. As good preparation not only increases the chances of success but it also creates priorities, direction and the will to succeed. That’s why it is essential to start with a clear and concrete innovation assignment. This forces the top management in your company, from the start, to be concrete about the market/target group for which the innovations must be developed and which criteria these new concepts must meet. This forms the guidelines for you and your innovation team when you are underway. You can formulate the innovation assignment with the help of the following six questions:

  1. Why?  (Why do we want to innovate);
  2. Who?  (Who is the target group);
  3. Where?  (For which distribution channels, countries, regions or continents);
  4. What?  (Evolutionary or revolutionary; products, services and/or business models);
  5. When? (Intended year of introduction);
  6. Which? (Which criteria the new concepts should meet);

So in discussion with your top management, you can collectively formulate which criteria the new product/service ideas must meet as well as determine the ambition level.

Minimum Viable Personality

MINIMUM VIABLE PERSONALITY

Most important step for build product is build product. 

Second most important is build personality for product. 

Not having personality? Product boring, no one wants. 

BREADORBACON

PERSONALITY BETTER THAN MARKETING

When choose product, humans only care about “does it work”, and “is it interesting”. 

World already full of things do work. Most are boring. 

Personality = interesting. Interesting = care. Care = talk.  

Everyone cares and talks about product? You win. 

CAREPLUSTALKISWIN

SELL TO FRIENDS, NOT STRANGERS

Personality makes product your friend. You help friend. You forgive then, when they are not perfect. You want your friends to win. 

Boring stranger?… you shouldn’t. 

Personality is API for loyalty. No one cares which boring stranger is next. But always want friend who is sitting next. 

LOYALTYPORT

HOW NOT BE BORING

Have personality easy. Answer three questions: 

1. How you change customer’s life?  

2. What you stand for? 

3. Who or what you hate? 

Now have mission, values, and enemies. That’s enough for minimum viable personality. 

Keep in brain when write, talk, blog, tweet. Iterate. Improve what work. Delete what not. Personality grows. 

Don’t be a chicken 

Chicken lives in cage. No can have personality inside cage.  

Last step is smash the cage, light barn on fire. 

Do that, you win.


CHICKENWIN


Marketing and New Product Development

Marketing management plays a key role in the new-product-development process along with the research and development department and other related departments.

New Products

The consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton has identified six categories of new products in terms of their newness to the company and the marketplace.

New-to-the-world products (Product new to the company and the market)

New product lines: New products that allow a company to enter an established market for the first time (the product is new to the company not the market)

Additions to existing product lines: New products that supplement a company’s established products lines (package sizes, flavors, and so on)

Improvements and revisions of existing products: New products that provide improve performance or greater perceived value and replace existing product (Improvements in features and benefits of a product)

Repositionings: Existing products that are targeted to new markets or market segments (to be called a new product there must be some changes in the existing product to suit the new segments targeted).

Cost reductions: New products that provide similar performance at lower cost to the company.

Kotler says only 10% of all new products are truly innovative and new to the world.

New product development in various categories mentioned above is very important for any organization because existing products are vulnerable to changing consumer needs and tastes, new technologies, shortened product life cycles, and increased domestic and foreign competition.  Organizations have to be on the lookout for new products.

Factors That Contribute to Success in New Product Marketing

Madique and Zirger found the following factors:

1. Deep understanding of the customer needs.

2. High performance to cost ratio of the product

3. Being the early entrant into the market

4. Higher contribution margin

5. Larger amount of marketing expenditure

6. Strong top management support

7. Greater cross-functional teamwork among R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Marketing and Finance from the beginning

Effective Organizational Arrangements for New Product Development

An effective new product development organization starts with top management. The amount of money spent on R & D is an important top management decision related to new product development. Companies give the responsibility for new product development to product mangers, or new-product managers, or new-product committee, or new-product department, or new-product venture teams. In general product managers may not be able to devote adequate time to new products as they have to take care of existing products’ marketing and selling issues.

Managing the New Product Development Process

Eight stages are involved in the new product development process.

1. Idea generation

2. Idea screening

3. Concept development and testing

4. Marketing strategy development

5. Business analysis

6. Product development

7. Market testing

8. Commercialization

Idea Generation

A number of creative idea generating techniques can help individuals and groups generate idea. Some of them are:

  • Attribute listing
  • Forced relationships
  • Morphological analysis
  • Need/Problem identification
  • Brain storming
  • Synectics

Idea Screening

The purpose of screening is to drop poor ideas as early as possible and allow only promising ideas for further stage in the new product development process.

There is likelihood of two opposite types of errors occurring in this process. One, the drop error, results in dismissing a good idea. The other, the go-error, results in moving a poor idea forward.

Poor ideas result in product failures. Three types of product-marketing failures can be categorized: Absolute product failure loses money even on variable cost. Partial product failure recovers variable cost and some fixed cost. Relative product failure yields a profit, means it recovers variable cost and fixed cost, but the profitability is less than the company’s target rate of return.

Concept Development and Testing

A product concept is an elaborated version of the product idea and it is expressed in meaningful consumer terms so that consumer can visualize the product.

Concept testing involves an appropriate group of target consumers giving their reactions to the concept.

Will it Sell?

New Product Marketing Strategy Development

After the concept is finalized, marketing strategy needs to crystallized. At this stage the marketing strategy is expressed in three parts.

The first part: It describes the target market’s size, structure, and behavior. Product positioning is defined. The sales size, market share and profit goals are expressed.

The second part: The price and distribution strategy and the required marketing budget  for the first year are specified.

The third part: It describes marketing-mix strategy over time and evolution of sales and profit.

Business Analysis

At this stage, marketing department has finalized its market understanding and converted it into sales revenues and related marketing costs. The next stage is analysis of operating costs and profit analysis.

Product Development

If the business analysis clears the product, actual product development work is given to the research and development department

Test Marketing or Market Testing

High investment/high-risk products, where the chance of failure is high must be market tested. The cost of the market tests will be an insignificant percentage of the total project cost. Various types of market testing are:

Sales-wave research

Simulated test marketing

Controlled test marketing

Test Markets

 Commercialization

Based on marketing, if the company decides  to go for the manufacture and sale of the product, capacity decisions are to be made. The timing of the launch, the geography of the initial launch, the niche market within the target market and how to launch the product become important decisions.

Consumer Adoption Process

Marketers need to understand the new product adoption process to build an effective strategy for developing market for the product. Adoption is an individual’s decision to become a regular user of a product. The adoption process is followed by loyalty process.

Stages in the adoption process

Rogers defines the innovation diffusion process as “the spread of a new idea from its source of invention or creation to its ultimate users or adopters.”

Adopters go through the following five stages:

Awareness

Interest

Evaluation

Trial

Adoption

New product marketer has to aim his effort at facilitating the movement of consumer who is an adopter of new product  through the five stages.

References

 

Philip Kotler, Marketing Management (Main text for revision and article)

Modesto A. Maidique and Billie JO Zirger, ” A Study of Success and Failure in Product Innovation: the Case of the U.S. Electronics Industry,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, November 1984, pp. 192-203

See Bibliography also

Bibliography

Determinants of New Industrial Product Performance: A Strategic Reexamination of the Empirical Literature by GARY L. LILIEN AND EUNSANG, 1989

http://www.garylilien.info/publications/47%20-%20Determinants%20of%20new%20industrial….pdf

New Product Successes in Japanese Consumer Goods Market,

Hotaka Katahira, Makoto Mizuno, and Yoram Wind, 1994, Wharton School Working Paper

http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/documents/research/9402_New_Product_Success_in_the.pdf

New Product Diffusion Models in Marketing: An Assessment of Two Approaches by Malcolm Wright and Don Charlett, Marketing Bulletin, 1995

http://marketing-bulletin.massey.ac.nz/V6/MB_V6_A4_Wright.pdf