New product development in early -stage firms
For early-stage or start-up companies, the risks associated with missteps in the new product development (NPD) process can lead not only to product failure, but company failure. Disciplined product development has been a hallmark of mature companies for decades, resulting in shorter development cycles, reduced costs, and higher quality products. For early-stage firms, detailed investigation into their NPD processes is lacking. This dissertation focuses on NPD of start-ups and early-stage companies and is divided into three parts. The first is a comprehensive survey and analysis of 35 firms, which details the NPD methods actually used by start-ups, both successful and unsuccessful. Independent variables include the use of cross-functional teams, market planning, industrial design, product platforms, cost accounting, and limited phase-gate management. What was found is that early-stage firms using the core development principles experienced positive results in firm performance. The second part of the dissertation is a detailed case study of three start-ups. The case studies include historical case information provided by the Innovation Factory, Accentra (PaperPro), and KCF Technologies (KCF). The third and final part of the dissertation introduces a novel product development process for improving NPD within early-stage companies that is demonstrated with a case study from industry. The dissertation concludes with discussion on contributions and future research.
0546: Industrial engineering