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The Handbook of Technology and Innovation Management by Scott Shane

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3.5. Future Research Directions

It is clear that innovation and new product development are challenging activities. Innovations, especially those involving new technologies, are increasingly more complex with many hundreds (if not thousands) of parts, involving dispersed development teams of hundreds of people, and costing several million dollars in development before market launch (e.g., Ulrich and Eppinger, 2004). In addition, firms are under increasing pressure to shorten their development times (e.g., Bayus, 1997; Bayus et al., 1997; Reinertsen, 1997; Smith and Reinertsen, 1998), and, the costs of studies to understand customer needs are high.[]

[] Urban and Hauser (2004) report the typical costs associated with different customer needs studies in the automobile industry. For example, qualitative/ethnographic interviews (5–10 groups of 5–10 customers each) covering 50–100 features or needs cost $40–50 000; tailored interviews for segmentation studies (800 personal interviews) including 73 scales cost $80 000; activities, interests, and opinions studies (100 000 mailed questionnaires) covering 114 features or needs cost $500 000; conjoint analyses (300 online or in-person interviews) covering 10–20 features or needs cost $50–100 000; product clinics (300 central-facility personal interviews) covering 40–50 features or needs cost $500 000.

Figure 3.9. Selected Method Cards from IDEO

Under these conditions, it is not surprising that a lot of effort has been, and should continue ...

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