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Translation of technology drivers into initial product ideas
If a specific technological impulse is redefined as a strategic development research field, the goal is to transform the undefined technology impulses into concrete products or business value. The following questions are specifically in focus:
- What superior solution can be developed with the new technology for the customer?
- Under what conditions is the use of this technology profitable?
- How large is the potential market for the new solution
Various market research instruments can be used to answer these questions. Especially in smaller mechanical engineering and systems construction sectors, the lead-user method delivers particularly good results, as potential customers are purposefully involved in product development. This reduces the risk of developing new product solutions that are disconnected from the market or the potential customer. Lead users are defined as users whose needs are ahead of the requirements of the mass market and who derive great benefit from the innovation to be developed, and therefore benefit in particular from the early development of the solution. These can be existing customers of the company as well as customers of the competition or users in related industries, who often act as innovators themselves. If suitable lead users are identified, they can discuss the use of new technologies, generate superior solution ideas within the defined technology search field and analyse the portability of these solutions to potentially additional customers.