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Business, meet science ...

By Tim Muprhy 1 years ago

On the continuing theme of innovation, it’s an interesting place where science and business and marketing meet.

History has no shortage of stories about the person who invented the ‘thing’ not being the person who ends of profiting from the ‘thing’.

Why? Usually they’re lacking the business savvy it takes to get their idea (protected!) from the lab to the market.

You need a business model for protecting your innovation and ideas.

To quote Harvard’s Clayton Christensen and colleagues (2009): ‘The history of innovation is littered with companies that had a disruptive technology within their grasp but failed to commercialize it successfully because they did not couple it with a disruptive business model’.

We’ve all heard stories like the one they told about Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute. They were instrumental in developing the MP3 digital music format in 1982 and Fraunhofer generates tens of millions of dollars in revenues from the technology very year.

Enter Apple, who brought the iPod and iTunes to market in 2003. Both use MP3 technology. Just three years after their introduction Apple was already earning tens of billions of dollars in income per year – a bitter pill to swallow for Fraunhofer, who actually invented the technology.

So, you see, the idea and innovation is one thing – putting it into effective commercial application is another.

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is exactly (unlike me, right?) but I thought it would provide you a little interesting food for thought.

Hope you enjoyed it… till next time

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