Concept 2 Lessons From Commercial Innovation

The second concept that is useful in understanding the commercialization of innovative technology relates to the basic drivers of successful new product or process innovation. Simplistically, innovation has been described as a function of creativity and implementation. But it is more than that. The biotechnology experience, among other examples, shows that innovation should be viewed more comprehensively as a function of

• Creativity

• Management

• Investment

It required creative people with innovative ideas, strong, focused management, a multidisciplinary team, significant investment of capital, and the promise of return on investment to bring biotechnology from the research laboratory to the marketplace.

Innovative Product Commercialization, a function of: (Creativity x Management x Team)(Investment)(Demand)

As an analogy, consider a musical concert. Creativity is contributed by the composer, management by the music director, and the team by the performing artists and members of the orchestra. Investment in the concert is a matter of the sponsor's belief that the musical experience will attract attendance (demand) and that box office receipts will supply the expected revenue and return on investment. All are required for success.

In the insulin example, the Boyer-Cohen technology clearly provided the creative catalyst that inspired Robert Swanson to lead and manage the commercial development of chemically synthesized insulin. But without the combined team at the City of Hope and Genentech, the race for genetically engineered insulin would not have been a West Coast victory. Swanson's ability to both manage the start-up of Genentech and raise investment capital based on the promise (demand attraction) of insulin was remarkable. But it was the combined multifunctional team of Genentech and the City of Hope, with leverage from the Riggs-Itakura technology, that turned the game entirely in the favor of the Genentech success.

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