Friday

About great technos and great business models

200703
(answer to the question "Does a great business model foster great technology, or does a great technology foster great business models ?")


I've survived a couple of start-ups in the innovation field and I know two things : great technology can be a curse, and failing to deliver a death warrant. If I get your question right, you have both techno geniuses and marketing whizz kids, and you are wondering what a brainy manager would do to get the most value out of this explosive combo.

First : lock patents, don't waste your gems and don't let them go. They shouldn't feel like they are locked in a monolithic joint playing a "us vs them" game. You foster innovative approaches in general and as a general you must take decisions. If time to market is key, keep a playing ground for research - give your techies time to work on pet projects in exchange for the delivery of the dreadful quick-and-dirty gizmo your salesforce requires. Market the smart upgrades while selling the monster. It may work even if you are not Microsoft.

Actually, that's the essence of Google part II (growing into a powerhouse beyond the initial innovation) : the new bricks added to the edifice are either smart tools fresh from the lab or quick and dirty me-too products launched basically to fill the blanks, the time for competitive upgrades to be completed. You may not be able to stretch your staff that far, but at least mentioning Google could help stretch the smile on your investors' face for a while.

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