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Ideation: your foundation for new product success

Build the plan through both creative thinking and detailed analysis. In addition to a series of internal discussions and brainstorming sessions, it is essential to develop your business plan through solid research and analysis, including:

  • Customer research and concept testing (product, message, pricing, buying process)

  • Detailed product requirements definition

  • In-depth technical research, including defining and building a prototype

  • In-depth discussions and preliminary agreements with key vendors and partners

  • Legal, IP and regulatory evaluation

  • Detailed financial modeling, risk and sensitivity analysis, and option evaluation.

Pitch (and for independent ventures, source and pitch) investors. This step also includes presenting the business plan to the investment decision makers. For independent ventures, this step normally includes the added complexity of securing external funding. Through your planning efforts, you need to determine the right categories of investors to pursue – angel, venture capital, private equity or strategic corporate investors. You then need to identify and contact a number of prospective investors just to secure a first meeting. Thereafter, the presentation process and subsequent discussions and negotiations are analogous to, but far more complex than, securing investment internally within a large corporation.

Step 6: Approve

The final step is to secure approval and funding to proceed. Following the presentation of the business plan in step 5, there is normally a process of reworking and fine-tuning the plan, and negotiation over investment terms and conditions, leading up to the decision to proceed.

For independent ventures, this is a longer and more complex process, as it normally involves negotiation over company equity holding, governance, personal commitments of founders, as well as a due diligence process.

This step, and the ideation phase, is concluded with the final decision to invest and proceed, or to delay or abandon the opportunity.

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An effective ideation phase is critical to maximizing the chances for success for your new product and service innovations. Ideas that graduate through steps 1 to 6 have been carefully selected from a broad range of exciting options, and have been methodically analyzed and carefully planned. This phase requires far less time and resource than subsequent phases, and done well, will make an enormous difference in time-to-market, capital needed and success probability.

As is widely known, many ideas that are funded for development never reach the market, and a majority of those that are launched do not achieve success. For this reason, your product innovation model should be built on a solid ideation foundation. By implementing a dynamic, but disciplined ideation system, you will create and harness innovative thinking, focus your limited resources on the best concepts and opportunities, and maximize your organization’s ability to achieve your innovation goals.

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© Blue Mine Group


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