Discuss the innovation involved in product development

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Reference no: EM13963487 , Length: word count:2000

Topic: Product Design engineering


The Product I have chosen for this assignment is Kodak Disc Camera.

Innovation Case Study


The aim of this assignment is to allow the student to choose a product that they are interested in or provides the required information to discuss the innovation involved in its development.

In this case to assist in understanding the requirements, SFX Technologies Limited will be used as the case study.

Technological and social Influences Technological:

The technological influences would be those that had an effect on the development of the product or service.

• This could be the technology available to the company or whether they needed to transfer and license technology from another company.

• How long did the development take and how much was this down to the technology itself or for the technology to be accepted by customers?

• Was the competitors' technology better and the company needed to compete better?

• What aspect of the technology influenced the development and the products / service that the company worked on?

• How did technology influence the aesthetic and physical design of the product?

• Basically the student should look at all aspects of technology and

SFX Examples:

• At first we mid not understand how the technology worked.

• Time was spent researching into the performance, and especially the silicon materials.

• Loudspeaker technology has not change for so many years it became obvious that something so different would have to prove its worth in this market

• Just how good could the technology be and how would this effect how it was presented / sold and future developments?

High-end, mid-end or low-end sound quality?

Manufactured locally or mass produced abroad?

How much R&D and how much product design and development.

• Investors wanted to concentrate on developing the technology and licensing it but some directors felt this would take time and use up the investment money (this was proved to be correct).

• There was so many applications for the technology that they concentrated on the Wowee products totally. It may have been beneficial to have developments ongoing in the background in case other opportunities arose.


On social influences this could be from the culture of the market areas exploited through to the countries policies for imovation.

• Were grants for innovation available from the government?

• What support did the company receive? Investment funding?

• How did the culture affect it?
o More attuned and open to assisting innovation and entrepreneurs?
o What institutions exist to help start-ups and new product development?

• What affect does the product have on society?
o Does it entertain, assist, make them more mobile, etc? A lot can be assessed if the product is known.

• Why was it successful or unsuccessful - what did people like / dislike?
o Did the technoiogy fail behind customer expectations?
o Did the social attitude to something move away from the product/ service provided?

• Does the company have access to high quality graduates and good local universities?

SFX Examples:

• Investment

• Although the technology had 'gimmick' value how would it be perceived by prospective buyers?

• The 'wall of sound' is different to normal sound produced by standard loudspeakers - would people like! dislike this?

• SFX needed investment and at that time there was money available for hi4ec companies and before the financial crash, the government bodies I investment companies in Scotland were very attuned to innovation and new product development

• Overall, the students should think how the environment the company works in affects the products they make, the people they employ and the facilities around them.

Models of Innovation

Explain what models of innovation covers the development of the product - whether it was 'market-pull' or 'technology-push' or one or mix of the others. Students should read the Course Notes from Page 14. This covers the modes of innovation.

• The student should use the diagrams and modify them to show how the company / product was developed.

SFX Examples:

• As there was a very limited market developed by competitors NXT and Pheonic, SFX was mainly 'technology-push' at the beginning.

• SFX produced products for other applications with aim of using this to 'advertise' the products capabilities.

The Development Influenced by an Individual Inventor/ Entrepreneur / Team or Collaboration between Companies

Good research is needed and the company contacted if necessary. Depending on the success of the company! product this information might be easy to obtain.

In the case of SFX, the idea for the technology that was invented began when SFX had produced a product using the competitors technology. Silicon was added to make the technology removable, which they realised improved the bass response. SFX actually told their competitor but was rebuffed as NIH Syndrome (Not Invented Here). So they patented it and did it themselves.

Norman Hanis suggested the need to make the competitors technology removable and this resulted in the invention'. It took both Norman Harris and Ian Hynd to fully implement the development.

Basically, the aim is to find out how the technology! product! service came into being. Political, Economic and Social Factors

Political can mean the country of origin and the attitude to innovation and technology new product development but it can also mean the political influence within the business. It could be the way the company handles new product development and its management structure.

Paul Stotrs book should provide insights here.

SFX Examples:

• Good government support through Scottish Enterprise.

• Innovation is regarded higNy in Scotland but the way investment is carried out could be greatly improved.

• Internally, the investors brought in people who wanted the kudos and made unilateral decisions without consulting others and this proved unsettling and destabilising.

• The management of the company and its staff was affected by the note above.

The company's ability to finance new development is very important.

• Does it require financial investment from another body / organisation?

• Has it the capability to fund itself or use profits from other products / services sold?

• How will the economic dinate be when the product! service will be ready? Will its cost be acceptable to customers at this time?

• What plans are made if the cost of development increases, etc?


• Is your product service still ethical or meet the legislation for recycling required in the countries it is sold in?

• Are you sure the product / service does not breach the social values of customers?

• Will 'fashion' have changed by the time the development has been completed and people still see it as a 'must have'.

• How does your company and its products! services interact with society? Does the company bring anything into the local area apart from employing people? Does the product / service add to the lives of those who buy it etc?

Coursework: Innovation Case Study

The recommended core text for this module includes a case study (mainly SFX Technologies Ltd) to illustrate the concepts which are to be studied in this module. For this assignment you are required to produce your own 2,000 word case study on the development of an innovative product (or possibly service) of your own choosing. The case study should discuss the technological and sociological influences which affected the development of the product, the extent to which 'technology-push', 'market-pull' or other models of innovation are illustrated by the development, and how the development was influenced either by an individual 'inventor and / or entrepreneur, a team within a company, or a collaboration between companies. You should also discuss how other political, economic and social factor played a role in shaping the final product (or service) which reached the market. Note that there is no requirement that the case study should represent a successful product. (in fact sometimes failed products make the most interesting case studies, though as few companies publicise their failures, information on these is often difficult to find.

There is nothing more practical than a good theory; Lewin (1952; p169).

The point that Lewin was making was that theories and theoretical models are only useful insofar as the can be used to help us understand some phenomenon of interest. Essentially, this assignment is an exercise in identifying the theoretical concepts covered in the module within the context of real-world examples, and for high marks it is important to link the issues in your case study to the ideas discussed in the lectures, tutorials and seminars. Moreover, there is a possibility that you may find examples where the theory appears to be at odds with what actually took place. Where this arises, it too is of interest, and in such a case you should consider the possible reasons for discrepancy.

A good case study is very much dependent on source material, and hence the variety of appropriate sources and their correct referencing is another marking criterion.

No# of Pages: 8 pages (2,000 words)

Paper Style: Harvard

No# of Sources Required: 10

Reference no: EM13963487

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