NPI has serious impacts on the business activities: everywhere and all the time. For startups this can go well beyond round C ! These impacts need continuous attention (resources) and great corporate resilience at every step of the product’s road map till it becomes commercially viable.
Maximizing the resources allocations while approaching the commercialization is like riding the treacherous and windy Route de La Tourbie (ref to Grace K).
Many articles have been written on the NPI process, but managers and their investors still never know where to push or where to pull back resources. Many of these articles also get lost in technical diagrams, or in generalities and essentially mention three major NPI phases: (i) the discovery of the idea, (ii) the development, and finally (iii) the launch.
However, in real life (well into round B) when you are all geared up preparing for both: (i) commercialization (supporting the first installations, finding, and training the channels, etc…) and (ii) productization / scaling up (consistency, regulatory, final production files, etc..) you are also continuously pulled back into the development and this is where you start a “zig-zag” that often carries you off the cliff.
It’s not easy to keep the eyes on a winding road ahead while fast responding to any stone fallen from the cliff at any specific turn.
The quickest way I found to map your situation is to honestly position your product roadmap on a Market Readiness Level (MRL) scale from 1 to 9.
To be totally honest, probably NPI ends very much after you get to the last 9th step of your MRL, but this will be a good start.
Write me for any free open discussion on how to maximize resources and evaluate alternative plans.
I had experience with the “The Goal” a book on the TOC (Goldratt was at the time looking at operations inside /“in”) and we were comparing this approach with “lean manufacturing” in Toshiba (they were looking outside / “in”). So that TOC looked @ throughput, inventory and operating expense while “lean manufacturing” was looking @ all the chain activities from the customer back up: cost, lead time, value-added perspective.
To catch up on the field of manufacturing and integrated logistics that I have left some time ago when at McK and then consulting for the kibbutz plastic industry I tried to update myself on the emerging i4.0 and the first thing I did was to ask a friend and partner with an IoT professional experience as Yuval Viner (former CEO @ Bos Dimex) to update me on what is happening in the market.
He suggested to look at the IoT industry from the production facilities perspective and classified 3 different factory archetypes that evidences 3 main types: (i) machinery manufacturing / small-lot manufacturing, (ii) automotive / mass – customized production, and (iii) consumer electronics / high-volume production (see also a read from McK).
Today we can look at TOC, lean manufacturing and I4.0 as working in a more holistic way and for a taxonomy of the main innovative technologies driving i4.0 we suggest reading BCG.
For some evidence of i4.0 value drivers look at the below image that can help us understand where a specific innovative technology will impact in terms of efficiency and efficacy.
For some links in Israel you should refer to Israel’s i4.0 base classification. Notice there is a map of the israeli companies and a list you can even add your company onto – see list.
Numbers on crowdfunding are linked to alternative finance and are huge ($25 Bil and growing fast) however when focusing on equity investment via crowdfunding in startups USA would still be around $2 Billion. This is because landing (P2P), real estate, donations are still the largest part of the cake.
The corporate financing market (equity of loans) is therefore in its infancy. It has a defined high growth direction but has yet to fulfill all its real potential. In front we have a time horizon of ten years in which new and unimaginable opportunities will open up thanks to technology and regulatory interventions. In this context, portals that are already present in the market will have a one-time chance to consolidate while catching opportunities and rocket speed growth for those who will be able to best combine telematic tools and users experience both at the national and multinational level! Moreover the EU market will be opening up to a unique sollicitation marketplace in 2021/2022. This is an opportunity.
A crowd investing platform is no longer a high-risk investment class but an execution project that requires working with the correct financial and human critical masses. In these first 6 years, in Italy alone equity crowdfunding has been used by around 460 companies and around 10-11 thousand investors (including many “family & friends”). The data is growing but still far from having expressed all its potential. Italian commercial banks are getting involved and investing in the platforms.
Changes will be incremental as the 1st wave of crowdfunding was born to help product pre-sell and were very consumer-based, easier to understand; now these platforms are evolving in a surge of equity based crowdfunding platforms composed of two different “crowds”: the accredited & the ones that have to be accredited by the platform. In some countries like Israel this is becoming an alternative way to finance seed and some round A for hi-tech in others also bricks and mortar business get financed. The average fundraise is still small but regulation is opening up. USA up to $50 Mil in EU up to €8 Mil. The attached crowdfunding investor matrix helps understand where the business is and where it is happening:
on the horizontal axis the type of investment (equity vs lending) and
on the vertical the type of company (startups & innovative) vs SME and public projects.
All reports predict a great potential for this market; to find the right entry point crowdfunders will need to ask: “how can we enhance financing transactions while avoiding the traditional IB channels?”
To answer, crowdfunders will have to learn how to surf a “maverick” … and we do have some technology and some marketing ideas to help. 🙂