5

Early Tests of Business Potential

Stage-Gates and Quick Kills

Key Topics Covered in This Chapter

  • The idea funnel
  • Stage-gate systems—and a caution on using them
  • Financial concept that innovators should understand
  • Discovery-driven planning
  • The R-W-W method for probing assumptions

NOT EVERY IDEA whose commercial potential is recognized makes the challenging journey from concept to the marketplace. Even after passing the rough cut business evaluation described in chapter 3, subsequent development finds many—if not most—to be either technically infeasible, too costly to execute, or not acceptable to customers. By one estimate, only one in three thousand raw ideas will result in a commercial success.1 The high idea mortality rate along the development ...

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