Designing a Venture

May 28, 2007 0 comments

'The successful entrepreneur is one who first detects and seizes a profitable opportunity. He may not make a comprehensive market survey, but he'll know when to move boldly and quickly.' (Olm and Eddy 1985)

However, when entrepreneurs rush into the market they run the risk of contracting marketing myopia due to their obsession with the features and characteristics of their 'unique' idea (Levitt, 1960; Zimmerer and Scarborough, 1996). Often entrepreneurs guard their ideas and develop them in secret to prevent others from copying. All too often this leads to the production of new products and or services that have neither been analyzed or market tested. Conservative strategies founded on in-depth scientific research and analysis can stifle entrepreneurial flair and lead a form of operational paralysis that can slow down product design and development, often leading to production of staid, unexciting, but nevertheless highly reliable designs. Excessive research costs accrue from this strategy and deplete the entrepreneurs' resources before any real income can be generated. New products and services are often brought to the market after the wave of opportunity has passed (Lynch and Kordis, 1988). The tension between the extremes of these strategies can contribute largely to the entrepreneurs' dilemma and affect the attitudes of their key stakeholders.

It is often difficult for entrepreneurs to establish the extent to which research should be undertaken beforehand (Collins and Porras, 1996). Therefore the first model proposed in the this paper aims to enable entrepreneurs to focus their research by evaluating their ideas from a customer's perspective to articulate customer valued benefits into specific capability requirements. Analyzing product and service benefits against core customer drivers that are likely to generate customer attraction can reduce risks associated with new venture creation. This involves a matching process to determine the core 'state of felt deprivation' (Kotler 1967) responsible for initiating customer desire. The outcomes from such a process provide data for the identification of critical success factors and core criteria for assessing implications to product and service excellence, reliability and maintainability. This in turn leads to the identification of the critical success factors governing the development requirements for the capability of the supply chain to sustain competitive advantage.

The second model leads to the development of quality management strategies for growth of the venture by developing effective metrics in the form of score cards for continuous assessment activities. It builds on the concepts of total quality which aims to get everyone in the organization to do the right things for their customers by identifying the best way to do them to eliminate faults within the resource constraints of the venture. It then addresses the need to constantly improve and create innovation.

The design function is the heart of the process, however the heart cannot function alone, it requires the lifeblood of a steady stream of input from all other functions in the organization, especially from marketing and operations management (Oakland 1994). Innovation may originate from any number of sources such as marketing, technology, conceptual design, serendipity or pure research identifying a new form of technology or materials, or product and market research identifying opportunities and threats (Crawford 1994). Designers should consider magnetic attractions that will attract customers. These forces are rooted deep in the customers core needs and wants and influenced by the current state and degree of satisfaction of their physiological, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, and self actualization needs. Curiosity and aesthetics (Kotler and Armstrong, 1994; Maslow, 1954; Chisnall, 1994) may further motivate the intensity of attraction.

You can also check articles on the subjects "Designing for Competitive Advantage" and "Service Characteristics"

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship


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