- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 21, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521002494
- ISBN-13: 978-0521002493
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,820,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creativity in Product Innovation 0th Edition
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'The book would be valuable reading for any professional in any one aspect of a product development process. It offers a divergent view that will stimulate and challenge the reader to reflect on their own product development processes with fresh insight ... this is a worthwhile text.' Innovation
Creativity in Product Innovation describes a remarkable new technique for improving creativity in product design. Certain regularities or templates in product development are identifiable and consistent for almost any kind of product. This book describes these templates, showing how they can be used to enhance the creative process. The Creativity Templates approach has been recognized as a breakthrough in such journals as Science, Journal of Marketing Research, and Management Science. It has been successfully implemented through workshops in international companies including Philips Consumer Electronics, Kodak, Coca-Cola and many others.
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The authors also demonstrate that you can get better results by looking inward to the product itself, rather than listening outward to the customer ("the voice of the customer"). The Sony Walkman is probably the best example of that. I was skeptical of this sweeping generalization, but the authors provide lots of research to back up their statements.
The book thus presents 4 methods (called "Templates") to generate ideas for an existing product. Let me give you an example by using an illustration from the book using perhaps the simplest method: the Displacement Template. Here you first diagram all the components of a chair (for example). It is composed of the Back, the Seat, the Legs, and Person sitting on it. You then remove one of the important components (the Legs). You are now faced with a product that just has the Back and the Seat. You now try to derive a marketable product from this idea. This is called "solution spotting", when you identify the form of the product first, and then search for a need for this product. In this example, the new product without legs, could be sold as a beach chair.
Although this simplistic example may seem trivial it illustrates the concept that the product came from WITHIN the product itself and not from the market. It also can be seen to be systematic... in that you identify the components of the existing product and then you systematically drop important components one by one. In comparision, listening to the market would take you perhaps to corporate customers who would not be thinking of lounge chairs for the beach.
But more importantly, this book attacks the whole concept of brainstorming sessions. They call this "random" generation of ideas. This has what we have largely been doing for thousands of years. They propose, and then demonstrate with their research results, that a systematic approach (using their Templates) produces ideas that have a higher probability of success.
The authors offer a GREAT bibiliography for each chapter. That alone will keep me busy for at least 2 months. The book is easy to read, but it tends to be a little too "researchy" in spots.
The book presents a systematic method to create ideas for advertisements. I couldn't see where their methodology did better than mimicry of good ads. However, they did offer a way to analyze the components of good ads. One other criticism in this section on ads... the people that rated the ads were largely advertising professionals... and not the marketplace itself. Therefore, the ads tended to be trivial... at least compared to the results you could get using the techniques for products.
I am convinced that this systematic method is very good for developing new products. I have tried it on services and it did trigger some great ideas, although I found services to be more difficult to analyze.
Its a deep book for people serious about inventing things. Its not a rah-rah book that presents motivational messages.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. The authors have contributed largely to this field of inventiveness.
Sugar Land, TX
This is followed by sentence after paragraph after page of double-speak that makes this book a real pain to get through. It does contain novel and interesting concepts, but why not make it readable? There are many other books out there on this subject that are a pleasure to read. I'd pass this one by unless your professor gives it to you as an assignment.
According to the authors, the answer is NO. They maintain that ideas can be generated in two ways: based on creative thinking or based on market information (or the consumers). They believe that the consumers may provide information concerning the improvement of existing products but they cannot help in creating truly original products, since consumers may be a reliable source of information for present needs, but they are not able to predict future needs.
In the book you will find the Creativity Templates approach, in which they trace the common characteristics behind known creative ideas or products and based on them create new products or ideas. According to this approach: "Over time, market needs and desires are 'mapped' or 'encoded' into a product, the configuration of which becomes a physical representation of past selection of the market or an 'echo' of past customers' preferences. (p.23)
Therefore, the Templates approach places the product itself as a tool to predict the market trends and the characteristics a new product should have to answer future needs of customers. While the approach applies familiar characteristics to new products, it also has a surprise element, since the characteristics are new concerning the specific product; this produces an effect of "unrecognized familiarity".
Concluding, the book is a good reading and has very good ideas, or directions, in order to create original and interesting products, but I would not focus too much on it. I still believe that consumers are the most expert innovators.
Although the ideas behind the book are excellent, the authors' writing style is wordy and complex, not at all easy to follow. It's a shame, because business students could really benefit from the template idea. I roll my eyes at the thought of actually asking students to buy it, but I think the ideas the authors have are otherwise worth the price of the book.