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Explain the different factors that influence the firm


Political and economic

General societal (consumer)

Technology trends


Describe how industries evolve

  • Era of ferment/Disruption
  • Dominant design emerges
  • Incremental innovation
    • modularisation: specialist parts, innovation at part level, efficiency gain
    • complementary assets dominate: brand image, market info, distribution, manufacturing
  • Maturity


What is meant by a technology ‘S-curve’?


The S curve is a curve with technology performance over time with four phases:

  1. Emerging: early research, emerging in other industries, competitive impact unclear but positive
  2. Pacing: potential gamechanger, not yet in product, competitive impact likely to be high
  3. Key: in use in product, basis of competitive differentiation, high competitive impact
  4. Base: essential to business, widespread, little competitive impact


The S curve usually includes and depicts a technology generation shift depicted by a second s curve, sometimes illustrated as a discontinuity.


Examples of S curves:

  • photographic technologies, film vs pixel. Performance factor is image quality.


What is the difference between sustaining and disruptive technologies?


  • Improving performance of existing products with reference to current customers’ performance measures


  • Product performance may be initially worse but presents new value proposition


What are the attributes that enable product's to be easily analysed?

  • Relative advantage: over existing offerings
  • Observability
  • Trialability: experiment without switching costs
  • Compatibility: with current conditions
  • Complexity


Describe what is meant by a consumer adoption curve.

A curve with either the rate of adoption out of 100% or the market share over time with five adopter types:

  1. innovators/techies
  2. early adopters/visionaries
  3. early majority/pragmatists
  4. late majority/conservatives
  5. laggards/sceptics


Evolution of adoption curve and markets is unpredictable as supply and demand do not move in synch.

  • Supply:
    • improvement of competing technology is unpredictable
    • new business models reach users in unexpected ways
    • technology standard wars can be engaged in unpreditable ways
    • supply needs investment which may not come in times of uncertainty
  • Demand:
    • Feedback loops between users influencing each other`s choices are unpredictable

    • Demand for interactive products are especially unpredictable because of network effects

    • Users may face switching and learning costs

    • Demographics lead to surprises


What is the ISAEP framework? Give examples

It is a technology management process framework:

  • Identification
    • Read journals, Internal research, Work with universities, Patent searching, Lead users
    • GE open innovation
  • Selection
    • Stage gates, PESTEL, Ansoff matrix , Cost benefit analysis, TRL analysis, Pareto and Porters
    • Technology roadmaps (BAESystems, BP),  Innovation ‘outposts’ (Amazon), 'Open’ campus approach (Unilever)

  • Acquisition
    • M&A, Reverse engineering, R&D, Recruitment, Joint ventures
    • Be helpful (comet and boeing), Get the person, Run a competition
  • Exploitation
    • Licensing, Servitisation, Pricing strategy, Branding, Platform efforts, Sell IP
    • Domino, Facebook
  • Protection
    • IP, Barriers to entry, Secret, NDAs, First mover advantage, Predatory pricing


Explain the innovation funnel

  • Ideas (risks and experiments)
  • Selection and prioritisation
  • Implementation (discipline and quality)


Explain the different project management models

Serial waterfall

  • Objectives
  • Scope (what)
  • Responsibility matrix (who does what)
  • Work and resource plan (how)
  • Schedule, budget, resources (when, how much, where)


Agile project management:

  1. Determine objectives, alternatives and constraints
  2. Identify and resolve risks
  3. Evaluate alternatives
  4. Develop deliverables
  5. Plan next iteration



  • No work plan/critical path
  • Meet everyday
  • Share tasks
  • ideal for software upgrades and investigations



Explain the product creation process

1. Define/refine the project

  • clear aims (elevator pitch into full specification)
  • understand tradeoffs (quality, cost, time)

2. Define risks and experiments

  • create risk register
  • main risks may not be the product

3. Manage the performance engine

  • New products require changes throughout the company
  • Cross functional teams not partnerships

4. Manage the process

  • stage gates
  • quality control


How to construct a roadmap?

Strategic technology management tool


On the horizontal axis:

  • where are we now
  • how are we going to get there
  • where do we want to be

On the vertical axis

Along the vertical axis:

  • Why? (commercial perspective) 
    • Market and Business
    • The drivers, the strategy, and the needs
  • What? (design and production perspective)
    • Product, Service and System
    • The form, the function and performance
  • How? (technology and research perspective)
    • Technology, Science and Resources
    • The solutions, capabilities and resources



Explain how roadmaps can be used as platform for integrated toolkits







What are the benefits of a roadmap?

  • Roadmaps provide a consistent framework throughout the strategic planning/innovation process
  • Alignment of business areas from different strategic perspectives.
  • Facilitate development and integration of new technology
  • Supports strategy and planning process
  • Identify new opportunities for exploiting tech and deciding on a tech direction
  • Support communication and coordination
  • Identify gaps in market and technical knowledge
  • Supports resource allocation, risk mgmt and exploitation decisions


What are the different types of technology based firms and what are their issues?

Technology intensive and small:

Examples: uni spin offs, specialist high tech, science based park

Issues: finance availability, staff quality, coordination, needs new technology

Technology intensive and large:

Examples: leading innovators, global competitors, R&D intensive

Issues: think in terms of R&D, technology competent organisation redesign

Tech contingent and small: 

Examples: most numerous class, regional companies

Issues: limited capacity, lack of mgmt time, lack of marketing

Tech contingent and large:

Examples: incremental innovators, mature markets, low R&D

Issues: large mature company use available tech of others, organising supplier helps them to innovate


What is open innovation?

Collaborations with other comapnies throughout the development of a new technology including:

  • Ideas and technology
  • IP inlicensing and outlicensing
  • Products insourced (co branding)
  • Tech spin outs

Open innovation principles:

  • Access knowledge and expertise of bright people outside the company
  • Don't have to originate the research to profit from it
  • Build a better business model rather than get to market first
  • Make best use of internal and external ideas to win


What are the five management challenges with open innovation?

Can be done in house or ad-hoc external.


  • Organisational culture
    • Implementation team should try to create OI culture in the firm.
  • Skills
    • introspective: know your own business
    • extrospective: know your partner's business
    • technical: financial, portfolio mgmt.
    • interactive: communication, negotiation
  • Metrics
    • activity vs value
  • IP
    • how to deal with IP and its costs
    • how to agree valuation and royalty rates
  • 'Assymetric partnerships
  • Reputational risk


Come to me strategies or go to them!


Define IP management

IP management is about ownership and control. Control mechanisms include

  • legal enforcement actions, contacts, royalties, licensing, confidentiality agreements, publishing


IPM is concerned with the strategic and operational decision making, organisational routines and processes regarding the development, maintenance and exploitation of an organisation's IP asset portfolio, in alignment with its business objectives. 


How is infringement determined?

Claims define the features of the development that are protected. Everything that is covered by the claims is protected.


Infringing occurs when infringing product posses features of the claimed invention. Generally speaking production and sale of patents are acts of infringement.



What is the IP risk management approach?

1. Identify the risks the company faces

2. Assess the severity of those risks

3. Manage the steps that should be taken to manage those risks


Generic considerations

  • Origin of the risk
  • Form of IP involved
  • Location, timeframe, likelihood


Sources of risk include:

  • internal (e.g. R&D)
  • micro IP ecosystem (e.g. suppliers)
  • macro IP ecosystem (e.g. competitors, new entrants)


What are the different consequences of IP risks?

  • Strategic: big ticket items that can affect the mission, business objectives, strategy and growth of a company. 
    • e.g. wrong valuation of patent portfolio
  • Operational: hazards that arise during day to day runnings
    • e.g. trade secrets leaked to employees
  • Compliance: relating to the law
    • e.g. not complying with open source licensing terms
  • Financial: negative impact of money
    • e.g. litigation and damage payments
  • Reputational: events that undermine public trust
    • large scale leak of customer data


What are the approaches for mitigating risk?

  • Change risk likelihood
  • Change consequences
  • Accept risk and pursue opportunity
  • Life cycle management
  • Complementing patents with other IP (trademarks)
  • IP insurance for complementors
  • Contactual clauses in licensing


Define IP strategy and the different dimensions

Decision making relating to the ownership and control of IP to maximise value creation and capture from an organisations technology base in alignment with its goals.



  • Agressiveness: defensive vs offensive
  • Openness: closed vs open
  • Complexity : single vs multiple IPR
  • Comprehensiveness: selective vs comprehensive
  • Coverage: national vs global


Explain the IP strategy development process.

What should we do?

  • which businesses can and should IP strategy support?
    • strategic positioning
    • revenue generating
    • cost reduction
    • conflict avoidance

How can we do it?

  • which IP assets best support the objectives?
    • patents, trademarks, know how, relationships
  • which operational IP strategies are best suited for achieving the objectives?
    • patenting
    • enforcing
    • publishing
    • secrecy
    • inventing around




What is technoloy intelligence?

It is the capture and delivery of information about technology to help the organisation develop an awareness of threats and opportunties.

Involves a tech intelligence team who:

  • capture info, develop an insight and deliver that to the decision makers.


Intelligence operating process involves:

  • identify
  • coordinate
  • search
  • filter
  • analyse
  • document
  • disseminate
  • decide



name the problems affecting insight delivery

  • anchoring
  • cognitive distance
  • distortion
  • lack of kudos
  • repercussions for the messenger


Explain with a diagram the interaction between decision makers and intelligence teams in technology intelligence

Decision makers must make:

  • strategic, operational and technological decisions

They must understand:

  • who, what, why, where, when, how?

Intelligence teams must therefore provide them with:

  • identification of opportunities and threats
  • assessment of art and profile of trends

To do this they need to understand:

  • market, competitive, technology intelligence

by using:

  • white or black sources
  • internal vs external sources
  • tacit vs explicit sources
  • primary vs secondary sources


Explain the interaction between intelligence awareness and intelligence provision?

  • Trawl: making explicit the intelligence information already in house which is not yet formalised
  • Mine: extracting explicit intelligence info from an internal repository
  • Scan: keep on top of any technology developments that could impact the business
  • Target: monitoring the development of new technlogies identified as relevant for the future


How does a technology consultancy work?

Considers business intelligence and technology intelligence to consider new opportunities


Explain the acquisition process?


Assessent of opportunities

  • context
    • Define clear framework by discussing motivations and TRLs
    • Importance to the business vs competitive position
    • Define what knowledge is needed
  • evaluation
    • internal, technology and partner issues
    • absorptive capacity, cannibalism
  • options
    • regulate the relationship, ownership, financial exploitation
    • different technology development paths




What are the different technology development paths?

  1. Acquire early and develop
  2. Acquire once developed
  3. Work in partnership to develop the product/technology innovation