Five Steps to Technology Commercialization – Business Design

In an earlier blog post, where I introduced a commercialization framework for new and innovative business development (click here to read it). This posting is the first of a series of postings, where I will address each step of my commercialization framework.

I will assume that when you start this exercise, you already have a technology in mind. In other words, you have a hammer and you are looking for a nail to hammer in. Many people may argue that having a solution in mind is not the ideal way to get started but this is the case most of the time. So, rather than ignoring a fact, let’s learn to make the best of it.

The first step is Business Design and I strongly recommend you start here before jumping into development. Here is a quick to-do list at this step:

  1. Identify 2-3 target markets and their unfulfilled needs
    • Identify, as specifically as you can, an unmet and recognized need in 2-3 markets.
    • Prioritize target markets and identify your top target
    • Specifically articulate the unfulfilled need of your top target
  2. Identify key functions/features to address the unfulfilled needs and assess existing products, including yours, against these key functions/features
  3. Define business model(s) for each of the target markets
    • Business case (why this business should exist?)
    • Eco-system definition (in which the business will exist)
    • How would you make money?
  4. Define potential business structures to tackle the needs of the target markets (eg. partnerships, joint ventures, IP licensing, etc.)
  5. Identify key functions & activities your business and partners, if any, need to do
  6. Identify financing options for potential business structures and assess feasibility
  7. Identify key skills your business will need and create a simple organization structure to define how these people would operate (yes, even a start-up needs one)

That’s about it. The most popular tool to put this all together is the Business Model Canvas, which you can find here.

I welcome your comments on my blog. Please share this posting if you find it helpful. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

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