Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Commercialization "Process"?

I have always been fascinated by the "process" of commercialization.

Although it does seem to have some key elements (product development, financing thereof, protection of intellectual property, etc.), it seems far from linear. That slight bit of chaos and uncertainty enthralls me.

That is why, when I find a model that purports to facilitate the process of bringing a technology to market, I always catch my breath. That is what happened when I stumbled across OpenTTO.org, which is a site by an Australian technology transfer expert and which outlines an open source process for technology transfer offices to improve commercialization outcomes. I found it great fun to dissect the model and devour its assumptions, etc. (more of the process-geek in me emerging - oh no!).

In particular, Adamson (the author of the methodology) states that the (Australian) commercialization process in bringing technologies out of universities to market can be fixed by "the right process, the right people, and the right rewards." I think that the statement applies to commercialization more broadly. Of course, it's a great mantra for running a business, as well. But as for the "right" process, well...:

A prominent educator and successful businessman once told me that the virtue(!) of the market is its ability to screen out failures. Aaaahhh...uncertainty.

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