The commercialization process

14 11 2007

Astute readers may have noticed some weird categories that I have for some of my posts (who tags stuff as ‘Mobilizing Interest & Endorsement’ anyway?).

Really, there’s a method to my madness, at least in this case. Starting today, all of the posts with tags like “Phase x” relate to one of nine phases for technology commercialization. Theoretically this means that one day when my software is in every climbing gym in the world, you’ll be able to go back to this dinky wordpress blog and see the road that I’ve traveled to get here, and the lessons learned in each phase along the way.

It also means (hopefully) that the information here will be useful to others who are starting a new venture. I’m making no promises, but in addition to providing a few examples from my own experience I’ll try to provide a few guidelines for following the process. Some of what I write here will likely be included in my directed project final report. More on that here.

With that out of the way, let’s get started. Over the next nine weeks I plan to write about the nine phases of Vijay Jolly’s commercialization process. Jolly writes about this process in his book Commercializing New Technologies, and while he claims that his process applies more to new technologies than new products, I think they can be applied to both.

The difference between a new technology and a new product is that oftentimes a new product will use existing technologies arranged in an innovative way. A new technology enables the creation of many different products, and is marketed toward a much wider audience. ClimbPoint is definitely a product that makes use of existing technologies, and it’s geared toward a specific market…but again, I feel that the overall commercialization process still applies.

The idea behind the process is that there are five key phases that all new ideas must pass through if they are eventually going to be adopted by a large number of consitituents. These phases are connected by “mobilization” bridges that help the entrepreneur move from one phase to the next. However, this doesn’t mean that bringing a new product or technology to market is a linear process — the entrepreneur can go back to any phase at any time.

In my mind, the value in defining such a process is that it can be used to help determine where an entrepreneur’s energy should be focused. It can also provide the inventor with a more consistent and continual “reality check” as to whether the idea could really take off and be adopted; it provides a framework for analysis of an idea’s current state and can assist in defining potential next steps.

Hopefully that conveys the spirit of the framework. Here are the nine phases:

  1. Imagining
  2. Mobilizing Interest & Endorsement
  3. Incubating
  4. Mobilizing Resources for Demonstration
  5. Demonstrating
  6. Mobilizing Market Constituents
  7. Promoting
  8. Mobilizing Assets for Delivery
  9. Sustaining
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17 03 2008
The ups and downs of starting up « Another Startup

[…] to the main phases of Vijay Jolly’s nine phase commercialization process, which I’ve mentioned before. I’m curious as to whether other entrepreneurs have experienced similar highs and lows when […]

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