The CrossInnovation Blog

CrossInnovation AV - Part of the Accelerated Vision Group

In March of 2013, we were acquired and joined the Accelerated Vision Group (AVG). AVG’s vision is to help life sciences enterprises to consistently achieve better outcomes and market penetration by improving their awareness, reflective thinking and decision making. CrossInnovation AV is committed to repurposing what we develop at AVG into energy,  agriculture and finance sectors.

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United Breaks Guitars - 12 Milllion+ Views

Two years ago, a relatively unknown singer flies United and watches United Baggage handlers throw his Taylor made guitar around. Alarmed, he complained to the airline attendants – to no avail. He then writes a song about it and posts it on YouTube.

2 years and 12M views later – do you think United would have wished they had an ‘early warning’ system? How many people have been influenced by this?

I have. I think about this not just in relationship to United, but every airline. It factors into my thinking about price and value.

Recently I had my own type of United experience. This time, it was the not-so Best Western South San Francisco Airport: a restaurant host putting food back from a plate into the breakfast bar, then wiping the plate with his bare hands, and then bed bugs. I caught one (there were several – and they had blood in them) and brought it downstairs. And took a picture of it. It was an uncomfortable trip home with bites on my arms and neck. I wrote the CEO. I spoke with them to no avail. They don’t control their hotels. And the hotel manager said that guests bring the bed bugs. And that it wasn’t a bed bug. Really??

This is not, however, about griping. This is about early warning signals – and using tools like Associative Memories to quickly identify sentiments and problems across social media sites and the Internet. We can help.

“In creating tools we are designing new conversations and connections.” – Terry Winograd and Fernando Flores.

Anyone want to make me a song about bed bugs? I’ll send pictures.

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“Human in the Loop” and The Death of Business Rules

Dr. Manuel Aparicio, Co-Founder and CEO, Saffron Technology talks about “Operational BI” and explains some of the limitations of traditional BI when it comes to decision making. He touches on democratized business intelligence - can’t have a PhD hanging around with every user to tweak the business rules - and situations affecting us like fraud.

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Customer Experience and Big Data

This is a great example of the thinking that is beginning to permeate industries about ‘real-time’ analytics. The questions yet remain - what is ‘real-time’ and what underlying technology will best support ‘real-time’ analytics? We propose that it is a matrix-based, memory-base (vs. relational based) architecture. And there is only one solution that we are aware of that will scale… Agile Business Intelligence.

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Product Failures: The Underlying Whys

Successfully commercializing New-to-market or New-to-Firm product and service offerings are crucial to the CI business model and core to offer. The size and nature of our business model and those of our clients does not allow for the expected 86% failure rate of new product offerings.  Mitigating the risk of failure is crucial.  This discussion is intended to be an introduction or summary of a much larger project related to continuing to develop the awareness and understanding of what New-to-market and New-to-Firm products and services mean to our existing and prospective client base.

There are two underlying causes for product failure: improper market analysis and/or a poor product. Based on the presentation from an InventVermont conference in June 2009, 55% of product failures can be oriented around misunderstood or bad market analysis.  “The problem that companies face is that market research is very expensive, and it’s not a science. If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers to help in the development of the product.” Bob McMath, founder of NewProductWorks.  Market analysis broadly defines some specific reasons for product failure:  biased market analysis, a lack of an effective marketing effort, ignoring the market research, and poor timing of a product release.

It is key to use market research to determine your product development, rather than justify your product development with market research.  Bad market research may be done as an effort to green light a project, or consumer responses indicate a behavior they wish they would enact, but will fail to do so.  Asking the right question is a cornerstone to product success. In many new product releases you are entering the part of the consumer or buyer’s mind in the realm of things they didn’t know they didn’t know.  Discovering what the consumer will do in this undiscovered environment is much of the challenge.

Sometimes, even when good market research is done, it may not be used.  The project champion may ignore the research because he/she does not agree with it, or is so blinded by their own goal they refuse to learn from and act on it.

The right timing is an element of product success that can be the most subjective. Some of the factors affecting when the right time is are consumer expectations, the available technology, proper marketing and sales follow through, and the business model and structure of the company developing the new product. Consumer expectations are perhaps the most important of these, because it is the only thing that you cannot change before you release your product. Your product may change the consumer’s expectations but only through widespread use and only after your product has succeeded. 

A poor product and the underlying reasons for its poorness comprise of the rest of the statistically significant causes for product failure.  A mismatch of the product that market research proved a desire for and what the product actually is, the defects of the product, higher than anticipated costs, poor timing, and technical or production problems are all manifestations of poor products. A poor product is a product that fails to meet consumer expectations, or cannot provide value to the consumer at a profit to the firm or product developer. The simple litmus test for a product is if anyone describes the product as, “It’s a good product but…[any reason].”

Product defects exist when the desired goal or functionality of the product and the technology of the product are not in sync. Sometimes this is because of a failure to utilize the right technology or it’s a failure to properly develop the needed technology.

Higher than anticipated costs come when someone evaluates the scope of the project without properly anticipating the development challenges. These challenges can and many times do have underlying political implications. Working within a firm to develop a product will always contain political challenges. Properly identifying the stakeholders and possible gatekeepers to the success of a project may be one of the most important aspects to product development.

Poor timing falls into the category of both inadequate market analysis and poor products. A poor product can be an indication of poor timing, simply because the technology available was not advanced enough for consumer expectations to be met. The early touch screen laptop/tablets are a good example of this.

Technical or production problems are an excellent indicator that the technology behind the product was not where it needed to be, that the product was a poor product.  In many cases these can be indicators of poor timing as well. These problems also indicate the firm was not ready for success, or prepared to handle quick growth and success.

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