Given that almost all companies universally take the approach to only enrich the CEOs and his lieutenants with millions of rewards, there are not much left to stimulate, to incubate, to nurture the far-fetched product ideas. I strongly believe that, until engineers, scientists, even those sweeping the floors can be compensated as fairly as the CEOs, the world is go to see fewer and fewer far-fetched ideas. After all, with the ever more emphasis on profit/quarter (from the financial sectors and the speculators), with the insane rewards for the CEOs (supposedly the most visionary persons in the corporate America/Europe/Asia), there are little crumbles left to create a welcoming, interesting, stimulating environment. I hope I am wrong at these.
You hit the nail. "Pursue to commercialization" is what it takes to translate from concept/vision to real-life product. However, I feel that most commercialization were done pre-maturely. For instance, today, many consumers pay for LTE phones who are very power-hungry and the services are spotty. Instead, if the LTE service is limited to only those who really need it and can afford the high price, the user experience could be fantastic. Or, if OEMs wait till 14nm process becomes available, the multi-mode LTE/VoLTE/3G-4G Fall-back become mature, consumers will be in heaven from day one!
I think you're missing that "pursue to commercialization" is a gamble that costs money. It's not free. You have to assign people to do the work, which means other work that may be needed isn't getting done, and that possibly you have more people on the payroll that are not creating revenues for the company.
Ideas that appear to be too far-fetched get the axe. Of course, there's also the possibility of management being too conservative. But the tradeoff can't just be ignored.
I once read a book covering the history of Sony (interesting, yet clearly Sony-biased), and they claimed they would have eventually invented the CD technology on their own, without the JV with Philips... So it's refreshing to read a comment above from Herbert72.
My question is: In today's fast-paced life, aren't we probably misnaming intelligent marketeers as "visionaries"?
I think nowadays companies claim, or get credit for "inventing" gadgets that already existed (or the concept was already well-known...).
I believe vision, development and marketing should go hand by hand. None of them can excel without the help from the others.
I hear you. While the author's conclusion (Crazy ideas from visionaries became reality and changed the world. So don´t be afraid of creating far-fetched products since they may become reality.) remains valid, what most of us on the shop floor need to konw is how we can convince the management to let us pursue it to commercialization.
What are we missing?
While I agree that losing the fear to create far-fetched products is critical, so is reestablishing the climate so that these products can be born. It’s easy to remember the excitement that spurred innovation “back in the day.” Do we have such excitement now? Not so much.
Back in the 90's, Philips produced a Sat-Nav. Unfortuantely lacking the satellite, it was just a "nav" and failed to sell (or they decided not to sell it). They were eventually given away without support to anyone who made a large purchase in the staff shop.
Development in Hastings (DAP setion of Philips UK) came out with some bright ideas but they were invariably pooh-poohed by Euro management (electronic i-kettle, water cleaning product). The usual descended instruction was to find a way to circumvent the patent on a competitors newly released product. Shop floor were officially encouraged to innvoate but when suggesting anything were always chastised for it. The plant closed, officially due to losses, in 1999. I wasn't impressed with the comapny from my internal view, but it may have just been how that one plant was run.
Curious article. I can enumerate dozens of great ideas envisioned long before their time, or implemented long ago, that may or not have been successful for all kinds of reasons. Steerable headlights, computer-controlled energy-managed homes (Ahwatukee house, c.1980), Newton PDAs, CD-I, video phones (early '60s), Dick Tracy watches, 3D movies (still ugh!)... Behind every one of these ideas were a lot of smart engineers. iPad? It used to be that a "pad" was where you lived. Maybe a new Philips should resurrect their earlier product as an iCrib.
It's interesting you say that. I have seen many of those examples -- especially among CE products.
But I particularly liked this piece by Cees Jan Koomen, because he shared with us the drawing of the iPad concept Philips had in mind then!
Indeed, great products can be developed (and invented) by multiple companies...