“Commercializing New Technologies – Getting from Mind to Market” — Book Review

Commercializing New TechnologiesToday’s post is a critical review of a book on innovation: “Commercializing New Technologies – Getting from Mind to Market” by Vijay K. Jolly (Harvard Business School Press 1997). I encourage you to read this book if you are involved in innovation within any size organization. He includes great frameworks.

A New Reference Guide for Innovators Taking Products from Idea to Commercialization

The importance of taking innovative ideas from an innovator’s mind to a commercial product has been clearly understood in industry today. What is not so clear is how companies and individuals can make it happen in a timely and efficient manner.

The book “Commercializing New Technologies – Getting from Mind to Market” by Vijay K. Jolly (Harvard Business School Press 1997) describes a roadmap to follow in order to bring innovations to market using a detailed framework of steps. I found that three key points are crucial to Jolly’s thesis.

  1. The first is that the only way to successfully and efficiently take an innovative idea to full commercialization is to follow a detailed process.
  2. The second is that innovative ideas don’t generally flourish in a vacuum. Instead Jolly believes that ideas and innovators require an ecosystem of supporters, funders, competitors, and others to help develop the idea from initial imagining to final adoption by the market.
  3. The third point, which is both diffused through the book and specifically addressed in a final chapter, is that timing matters, both for idea generation and implementation. Some ideas take time to develop and commercialize, and some innovations are simply before their time.

Jolly has prepared a well-organized how-to manual for inventors to try to bring an innovation from idea to commercialization. His book is not a conceptual discussion about innovation, nor is it a feel-good brief on the importance of innovation. The advantage of this book is that it goes in to detail about how to manage each stage of an invention development process. The downside is unfortunately that since it is so detailed; it is quite easy to get lost in the weeds. I can also imagine that an actual innovator might not have the time or inclination to reach such a long, detailed tome on how to bring an innovation to market. Most likely, the book will be used as a reference guide as a milestone is reached or about to be reached.

If you have read this book, please share your thoughts on it as well.


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