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Where Do Breakthrough Innovations Come From?

Anoop Kumar and Ranjani Saigal
07/02/2003

Dr. P. Ranganath Nayak, ex Partner, Boston Consulting Group and a TiE Charter Member, conducted the fourth TiE Institute seminar that focused on effective product creation. The seminar was held on Sunday, June 22nd at Babson College, Wellesley MA. Drawing from his extensive experience in technology strategy, product innovation and marketing, Nayak laid out the landscape for innovation. He then presented a step-by-step process for moving a product from an idea state to the market.

He began his talk by establishing the differences among the three distinct concepts - Invention, Innovation and Creativity. “Innovation is a long process that starts with invention and making a business out of it,” said Nayak. He laid out the principles of creative thinking. “Customer obsession, bold game plan, structured process, multigeneration program management, autonomous cross-functional teams, capable resources, effective worldwide organization, time compression and continuous improvement are now well recognized as the main principles of effective product creation,” said Nayak.

“Ability to identify the problem is very important. When you identify the problem, find the customer, check if it is really a problem and what kind of solution they are looking for,” said Nayak. He stressed the fact that innovative solutions that address customer needs are viable and will succeed in the marketplace.

Nayak cautioned entrepreneurs who sometimes fall into the trap of not clearly demarcating the line between the problem and the solution. Sometimes they loose sight of the actual problem while putting their efforts into developing and marketing a solution. He emphasized the need for persistence in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are sometimes faced with the challenge of making a decision on casting aside a non-viable solution. This is not easy especially if you can put in a lot of time and commitment into the solution. At such times it is important make a decision between abandoning the current problem and seeking a new solution for the same problem. Nayak gave some useful links that provide additional information for innovators.

www.ideaexplore.com
www.creativitypool.com
www.springwise.com

The seminar spoke to the needs of those wanting to bring products to the market. It was a well-balanced presentation that addressed some of the key issues. This lecture brought the Tie institute seminar series to a successful conclusion for this semester. More information about other seminars and Tie activities are available at www.tie-boston.org.



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