There are 6 Dimensions (6D’s) of successful commercialisation. Each of the factors that define each dimension are critical to the success (or failure) of a product or business opportunity. Where a product sits within the 6 dimensions will not only define its likely success it will also help to determine which actions may need to be taken to improve its chances. As such for an established business or product understanding the 6D’s also helps a company fight or defend disruptions when they occur – discussed in a future post.
The 6D’s are:-
- Development - this is the technology and development dimension. It covers R&D through Intellectual Property development and licensing together with industrial design, manufacturing, logistics and support. For many inventors it is the only dimension they consider, but without consideration of the remaining 5D’s then you may have a great idea or some unbelievable research but nobody wants to buy a product or service resulting from it. Commercially its dead.
- Demand – this is the market dimension. It covers things like market analysis, customer need, pricing expectations, value proposition, competition and regulatory issues. Demand is an essential ingredient of the success or failure of a product or service. Without it then nobody is going to buy. So there must be a demand or a perceived need or desire. There may also be some tradeoffs between demand/desire and pricing expectations.
- Distribution – this is the marketing and sales channel dimension. Key to this dimension is branding and marketing strategy, distribution and channels together with globalization factors. Selling into a single jurisdiction and using a single channel is much simpler than selling into a number of jurisdictions through multiple channels. As before you may have a great product and market demand, but without a means of selling it (path to market) you will fail.
- Dollars (funding) – this is the dimension which covers all forms of paying for the commercialisation. Funding can come from a number of sources that must all be considered. These include cash flows, debts and equity financing, grants and entitlements, incentives such as R&D Tax Incentives as well as project financing and factoring. Without some funding your options are limited.
- Dimensional (Organisational Structure) – this is the structural dimension. How a business idea is structured needs to be carefully considered. If a company then what structure is most appropriate and in which jurisdiction. Assuming a company then how many shares, board structure, management, governance issues, insurance and tax implications. Often companies are badly structured for their future objectives resulting in a need for an expensive re-structure later. Always start with the end in mind.
- Discipline – this is the management or glue dimension, it holds all the other dimensions together and creates a comprehensive strategy with clear KPI’s , break points, funding needs and success and exit definitions. Discipline needs to be impartial and to be fully engaging. If not, it is too easy to spend too long on a lost cause or maybe head down the wrong pathway.
I refer to Discipline as the glue since without it you just have a number of disconnected factors. I use the DISCIPLINE dimension to assess where a product or business opportunity is positioned within the 6D’s. I have created a simple model that creates an analogue of the dimensions and as such provides a correlation score with what is the ideal product or business opportunity: The higher the score the higher the probability of likely success. Its not perfect, but it is impartial and can successfully be used to rank strategies as well as make recommendation on opportunities. Opportunity Management is a very important part of Discipline: Often in business it’s not about winning more but losing less