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Ideation: your foundation for new product success

Step 4: Select

With the preliminary assessment completed for each prioritized idea, you are now in a position to select those ideas that appear to really have potential.

Develop a more in-depth checklist. This step involves developing a more sophisticated checklist and scoring model, building on the criteria developed in step 2.

Review and select the highest potential opportunities. Those ideas that promise the best short and long term potential should be selected for in-depth analysis and planning. The rest of the ideas should be either sent back to be refined, stored for possible future considerations, or dropped.

Step 5: Plan

This step is the most time and resource intensive in the ideation phase, and is thus reserved for those few ideas that are under serious consideration for investment. This step involves building a comprehensive business plan using a sound innovation business model framework. It is essential to develop a solid plan through a combination of creative thinking and fact-based analysis. This business plan will the basis for the investment decision, and all future work. It is vital that the plan developed is not just for presentation to investors, but is actually going to be implemented and followed. For independent ventures, this step also comprises identifying and pitching prospective external investors.

Develop the business plan. Based on our innovation business model, the business plan should comprise the following seven elements:

  • Product market strategy

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      Definition of target markets and customers, the needs to be addressed, and the markets’ current and future size.

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        Clear definition of the whole product offering, including features, benefits, technology, pricing, positioning, value proposition and customer experience.

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        Detailed competitive analysis, including competitive offerings versus customer needs, and how your offering meets customer needs better than all options.

  • Product development and lifecycle management – approach, organization, skills, processes and resources required to design, build and evolve the product.

  • Sales and marketing – approach, organization, skills, processes and resources required to attract, win and grow


  • Operations – approach, organization, skills, processes and resources for production, delivery and support.

  • Partners – strategic alliances and partners needed to accelerate any part of the business model.

  • Financial model – key assumptions, revenue, cost and cash flow forecasts, amount of funding required, sources of

funding; for independent ventures, capitalization table.

  • Strategic management

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      Your strategic management system – governance, and how you will plan, implement and control the product or venture launch and growth.

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        Detailed implementation plan, with tasks, responsibilities and timing.

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