What the product has to do to win in a given market. A scenario that shows how it is used. Component listing and risk analysis.
Originally published 2000
Choosing a Development Target
This is a general picture depicting the relationship between technological feasibility and marketing potential:
- The potential market for something you can’t do is huge.
- The competition for something anyone can do is fierce.
- The left side of the viability box is bounded by practicality
- What is realistically achievable (e.g. perpetual motion machines)
- The right side is bounded by the value proposition
- What people will pay for (e.g. a device that ties shoelaces)
- The left side represents complex problems with potentially long development cycles, but large returns.
- The right side represents smaller returns, but shorter development cycles and possible fast-track entry.
- The point where the curves cross is the optimum.
Components of a Technology Model
The technology model has a few standard components that feed into the overall business plan:
- Defines the technology’s buyers. As specific as possible, but as general as necessary. For example, “consumers”, or “consumers who have large amounts of discretionary capital”.
- A narrative description that shows the technology in use. Written in the “you” form, it puts the reader in the picture so they can visualize the technology in action.
- The basic components of the technology, giving a high level overview of what it’s made of, and what will be used to construct it.
- A technological risk assessment. What we don’t know how to do, what we think might be possible, what technologies exist that promise solutions (to minimize the risk).
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