Successful new products spring from the convergence of: (1) the creative mind; (2) the technical mind; and (3) the business mind. All three minds come together in the entrepreneurial mind.
In reality, however, the three minds are seldom found in one entrepreneur. However, the entrepreneur is certainly the orchestrator of the three minds.
The creative mind conceptualizes and designs a product that consumers find some use for. It likewise produces a product that is pleasing to see, touch, smell, hear, and taste. It also produces a product that creates emotional attachment and eventually becomes a significant personal expression of the consumer.
The technical mind is the technology originator. The entrepreneur may not necessarily possess the technical mind but this is what drives him or her to convert new knowledge into something highly functional and operational. The technical mind is also a technology adaptor. He or she uses old knowledge for new applications in various fields of human endeavor. Finally, the technical mind is a technology renderer. He or she resolves to make a new product work for the product creator by configuring and reconfiguring the technical design of the new product.
The business mind harnesses the potentials of new products by creating the market space for them. It also organizes sufficient forces and resources to develop, launch, and commercialize the new product in order to maximize its market value. The business mind also manages the external and internal business environment of the new product, which goes beyond the product development process itself. For a better appreciation, let us give an example of how the creative mind, the technical mind, and the business mind are used in developing a new product.
Case Example: The Lampturn
Two MBA students embarked on their venture thesis. They were Ronaldo Pingol and Cristina Pastrana. They developed a new product called Lampturn.
Essentially, this new product was a desk lantern that reflected colorful and moving images onto the lantern screen. The product was positioned as a novelty night lamp for children’s bedrooms or a mood lamp for living rooms. The images were illuminated on the lamp screen by an electric bulb of small-wattage. As the lamp was lit, the heat of the lamp caused the lamp to turn. While the screen revolved around the four sides of the rectangular lamp, an illusion of changing shapes and sizes was created while the images moved from one end of the screen to another.
The creative minds of Pingol and Pastrana were activated as they searched for a novelty product for their venture thesis. They were intrigued by the reflector/projector lanterns in three movies: The Little Mermaid, Up Close and Personal, and Eye for an Eye.
Their technical minds were challenged. They had no technological backgrounds. They did not possess the skills to fashion such lamps. They had to figure out how to make the lamps turn, how to make their screens and how to make the images mesmerizing for children and adults alike.
Their business minds were also put to the test. Who would be their best target market? How would they market the lamp? Who could make the lamp for them once they developed the prototype? How could they raise the funds for the project? Could they produce the lamp at a cost that would generate profits for them?