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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In search of the next "killer app"
In search of the next “killer app”
Austin RD, Nolan RLMIT Sloan Management Review, (USA), Summer 2005 Vol 46 No 4, Start page: 96, No of pages: 1
Purpose – To consider the obstacles to identifying future significant market segments. Design/methodology/approach – Asks why companies have difficulty shifting technological paradigms and why it can take several decades for a new technology to be adopted by businesses. Reports some findings from the Harvard Business School Internet2Business Applications (“Biz-Apps”) Group. Suggests two practices that can overcome limiting tendencies in the pursuit of new technology-enabled businesses. Findings – Observes that both managers and academics tend to adopt existing industries as a frame of reference for new technologies, rather than envisioning new industries. Adds that the “next big thing” is likely to be a combination of applications and is unlikely to be spotted by considering existing customer segments or bending ideas to fit a single favorite thesis. Argues that information technologies such as computer-aided prototyping and simulation enable work processes to become real-time experiments, citing Boeing’s innovative approach to development of the 787 “Dreamliner”. Suggests that “trying things out” will speed up innovation and the emergence of the “next killer app”. Comments that if these killer apps emerge in non-obvious ways, then applications should be deployed in a context that provides more information than is currently needed to facilitate the discovery of new uses for applications. Originality/value – Concludes that technological complexity increases the need for processes and technologies that support recombinant innovation.Classification(s): Top Management – Research and development; Innovation; Premier Management; Management Styles; StrategyStyle: ViewpointISSN: 1532-9194
Keywords: Innovation, Forecasting, Management techniques