Monthly Archives: June 2007

On Customer Complaints

A dissatisfied customer who doesn’t complain won’t be a customer for long.

Think about it. What is the underlying reason behind customer complaints? Is it because the customer just wants to lash at you one last time before she goes to the competition? I doubt if that’s even true 1/3 of the time. If the customer can go straight to your competitor, what does she care about you? She’s not being paid to help you improve your product!

Remember, she’s the one paying you with the expectation that you’ll deliver as promised. When your customer complains, whether politely or with a vengeance, it’s usually because, at the back of her head, she expects to come back at least one more time in the future to purchase your product. Treat her with respect and, if possible, engage in a healthy communication process with her to learn about how you can improve your product offering. It’s the least you can do.



Filed under Customer Relationship, Marketing

Uses and Caveats of Technology Roadmapping

This is part 3 of my first look in technology roadmapping. Part 1 and 2 are here and here respectively.

As mentioned earlier, technology roadmapping is not limited to a single product. Phaal et al. (2004) identified eight different types of roadmaps which may be used for different purposes. These eight types will not be discussed here and only a subset will be briefly described. Continue reading


Filed under Innovation, Strategic Planning, Tools

The Technology Roadmapping Process

For a brief introduction on technology roadmapping, see my earlier post.

While understanding the basic parts of a roadmap is important, it is just as critical to understand the process that produces such a roadmap. To elaborate on the technology roadmapping process, we refer to Bray and Garcia (1997) who depict the activity as being comprised of three phases: Preliminary Activity, Development of the Technology Roadmap, and Follow-up Activity. Continue reading

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Filed under Planning, Strategic Planning, Tools

A First Look at Technology Roadmapping

Technology roadmapping is an organisational process designed to align business objectives with available or yet-to-be available technologies. Bray and Garcia (1997) describe it as “a way to identify, evaluate and select technology alternatives that can be used to satisfy the need [of the market].” It is also a tool that should be used in the context of an organisation’s strategic planning process. Strategic planning involves asking (and answering) the following four questions: “where are we now?”, “where do we want to go?”, “how do we get there?” and “how do we know we are getting?”. Technology roadmapping is used in conjunction with other tools to help answer the question of how the firm will get to where it wants to go. Groenveld (1997) and Phaal et al. (2004) provide schematic diagrams of a technology roadmap which have been adapted and depicted below. Continue reading

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Filed under Innovation, Strategic Planning, Tools

A Focus on the Incubatee

Key Points

  • An incubatee must balance short and long term responses to new technical and market opportunities;
  • Incubatees must be encouraged to use control systems within their operations at the early stages; and
  • Interaction among incubatees is vital. Continue reading

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Filed under Business Incubation, Incubator

Strategic Planning (part 2)

This is part 2 of a four-part series on strategic planning. Part 1 is here.

For this part, we will concern ourselves with the second question: where do we want to go? It is in this part where the firm formulates (if it hasn’t done so previously) or re-formulates (as needed) its hierarchy of objectives. This hierarchy of objectives is composed of the following in decreasing scope and time span:


The double-headed arrows between the vision, mission, and goals represent a two-way relationship. From top to bottom, the vision serves as a guide for the mission and, in turn, the mission serves as a guide for the goals. That is, there needs to be alignment in the three. From the bottom up, achievement of each goal contributes to the achievement of the mission. Likewise, the achievement of each area of the mission contributes to the achievement of the corporate vision. Continue reading

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On Teaching Entrepreneurship

“…being an entrepreneur is not a personality characteristic, it is a learned skill…An entrepreneur doesn’t seek risk; he or she tries to minimize risk…it’s actually about managing uncertainty. What is teachable is how, given your character, you can live in an entrepreneurial way–as opposed to changing your character.”

–Prof. P. W. Marshall. Entrepreneurship: It Can Be Taught.
Harvard Business School New Business. Winter 2002.


“We don’t urge our students to ‘just do it.’ We spend a lot of time telling them to get to know an industry, get to be known in an industry, develop your skills, develop your contact base.”

–Prof. H. Stevenson. Entrepreneurship: It Can Be Taught.
Harvard Business School New Business. Winter 2002.

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Filed under Definitions, Education, Entrepreneurship