I was recently honored to share our IndustryStar story and many technology product commercialization lessons to a group of University of Michigan MBA students. The presentation was in Professor Jim Price’s Entrepreneurship: New Venture Creation class. The list below shares the Top 3 lessons we focused on for technology product commercialization.
Top 3 Lessons Learned from Technology Product Commercialization
1. Product Commercialization Plan
In the first place, having a plan for any business initiative is key, but it is extremely critical to have a robust product commercialization plan with a timeline and product gates to ensure your product is brought to market with the appropriate attributes; availability date, cost, weight, features etc. We recommend starting with a high level plan that outlines major program milestones. We use our 6 phase Technology Commercialization Framework, but the key is to have a detailed, workable plan. Once you have established the major program milestone dates, your next steps are: create and assign sub-milestones with dates. The end goal should be a detailed achievable program timeline. The program timeline should clearly outline team members’ deliverables, deadlines and plan status. A robust product commercialization plan will dramatically increase program success.
2. BOM Costs
Businesses need to have a great, not good, handle on their BOM costs. Additionally, at most physical product companies the BOM costs can make up 50-70% of the product costs. Furthermore, having an excellent understanding of your product cost structure is key to ensuring your company and product has a clear path to becoming profitable.
3. Product Launch Experience
Whether a company is launching it’s first product or simply expanding into a new product segment having team members and/or partners on the team with direct experience with the new product/product segment is crucial. Launching a new product is risky enough so having experience on the launch team early on significantly increases product launch success.
In conclusion, I hope the above quick list of product commercialization lessons will aid your efforts in avoiding common pitfalls for bringing your innovative disruptive technologies to market.