Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stanford CSP. Business 152. Innovation Timing. Session 1, Quiz 1.


Timing is critical for innovation success. Sometimes, companies introduce new products and services when it’s too late. For example, neither Google+ nor Microsoft smartphone succeeded, despite their respective companies putting major resources behind them, both in money and development efforts.

On the other extreme, some innovations fail because they seem to appear too early. Social networks Friendster and Livejournal started gaining traction in the early 2000s, but never got to the scale of Facebook. Similarly, WebTV started in 1995, with the intent to provide users with a broad range of content over the Internet. In almost two decades that followed, the company burned through hundreds of millions of dollars, went through a major acquisition, but failed in the very same marketplace where NetFlix and other video streaming services managed to succeed a few years later.

Finally, certain products and services had perfect timing. For example, Gmail and Youtube spread like a California wildfire. The Apple iPhone succeeded where Apple Newton failed.

In preparation for the course, please answer the following questions:

1. List 2-3 novel products or services in each of the timing categories:
a) too late;
b) too early;
c) just perfect.

2. (Optional). Pick one example from the list and explain your reasoning with regard to innovation timing. Mention at least 3 factors that played a role in the success or failure of the innovation.

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