of Entrepreneurship Research
MARKETING AND DESIGN ISSUES RELATED TO OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION AND NEW BUSINESS FORMATION BASED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISCONTINUOUS INNOVATIONS IN ESTABLISHED FIRMS
Robert W. Veryzer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Lally School of Management and Technology
Troy, New York 12180
This paper focuses on assessing and defining the relative importance of marketing and design functions, issues, and personnel in the formation of new businesses based on development of discontinuous innovations in established firms. The framing questions for the study include the following (1) At the point of opportunity recognition and evaluation, what questions were asked related to marketing and design and what was the level of concern for these issues in the evaluation process?: (2) What methods were used to learn the answers to those questions?; (3) What internal and external sources of information (individuals and organizations) were utilized?; (4) After the opportunity, has been recognized and a project team formed to pursue the opportunity how, are questions (1), (2), and (3) answered with respect to the formation of the venture and the earliest pursuit of the opportunity when uncertainty is highest?
A two-phase study was conducted. The first phase involved depth interviews that were conducted with project team members of eight discontinuous new product development projects. These interviews, which included senior managers as well as project managers and project team members, provided both historic and current information and insights. The second phase of the study involved a survey that was mailed to twenty-five member companies of the Industrial Research Institute.
The preliminary findings suggest that opportunity recognition and value creation can pose formidable challenges to discontinuous new product development. Limited access to customers along with resource constraints increased risk and uncertainty by undermining development of the products upon which the ventures were based.
The study indicates that corporate venturing in the domain of discontinuous innovation is a challenge for management reflecting the high degree of uncertainty on a variety of dimensions. This research provides additional insights into the application of entrepreneurship principles to corporate venturing involving discontinuous innovation.
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