Print Email Facebook Twitter Rehearsing the future: Soft-launching early-stage consumer hardware to mitigate uncertainty in the NPD process. Title Rehearsing the future: Soft-launching early-stage consumer hardware to mitigate uncertainty in the NPD process. Author Roadley-Battin, P.D. Contributor Roscam Abbing, E. (mentor) Smulders, F.E.H.M. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Strategic Product Design Date 2014-10-14 Abstract A company’s ability to innovate is widely recognized as the core driver of growth, performance and valuation. However, innovation is an expensive and risky endeavor and current method and management tools have been widely criticized. The software industry has radically changed over the last decade. Approaches, such as soft- launching early-stage (beta) products on the market to see what sticks with consumers have essentially made innovation cheaper, easier, faster and less risky. This study investigates the implications of applying an early-stage soft-launch approach to consumer hardware products. A case study within a single corporate setting of a high tech consumer products company, found that the differences between hardware and software product development are so significant that methodologies and product development approaches do not translate directly between the two domains. Similarly, it was found that soft-launching products does not lower the required capital investments in tooling and manufacturing. Instead, for relatively a small investment, soft-launching offers companies an opportunity to reevaluate their go- to market strategy, business plan and potential barriers for adoption and commercial success prior to investing in a capital-intensive full-scale launch. Soft-launching was especially found to be useful for new ventures or innovations that create entirely new or disrupt existing markets, ecosystems or infrastructures, facing extremely high risk, that can only be managed if levels of external uncertainty is mitigated through market probing. Managers are advised that soft-launching is not a trial- and-error process; learning goals, KPI’s and a clear strategic intent has to be outlined prior soft-launching a product and the organization must be ready to pivot the product strategy based on the data provided by the soft- launch. Managers are also recommended to consider the impact soft-launching may have on a brand and customer satisfaction if market expectations are exaggerated or not met by the quality of the early-stage product. Subject Innovation ManagementNew Product DevelopmentDesign StrategyHardwareUncertaintyRisk To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:8499be58-99e7-4a17-a20c-f62e5d97cac2 Embargo date 2016-10-14 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2014 Roadley-Battin, P.D.