Trilogy Tidings
December 2017
in this issue
     Potential business opportunities always emerge, whether sporadically or with regularity. When they occur, whether originated internally or externally, you are forced to either assess their merits or ignore them. (I discourage the latter!) I share my thoughts on this business-critical issue.
     And, please take time to enjoy the coming holiday season. Best wishes! 

Opportunity Assessment: Internal or External?              

     One of the pivotal activities of our consulting practice for more than two decades has been the assessment of business opportunities for various kinds of clients. The ability to judge likely future success before market entry is what opportunity assessment is all about.
     What kinds of clients do we serve? Here's one way to characterize them:
Granting institutions evaluating incoming proposals
Venture investors gaging future value
Universities assessing their intellectual property
Enterprises evaluating potential external engagements
Enterprises evaluating internally imagined opportunities
     You ask: Isn't predicting future success essentially a guessing game? Well, actually no. The overwhelming ingredients are knowledge, skills, objectivity and common sense. Sure, guesswork plays a role, but only a minor role.
     The need for knowledge and skills is obvious. This includes things like awareness of target markets and trends, knowledge of relevant technologies, proven processes for getting at "truth", the ability to identify and empathize with users of prospective products, an understanding of competitive forces in various regions, and the like. In my view the best ways to martial all the necessary knowledge and skills are (1) direct personal experience and (2) collaborative consulting.
     Then there's objectivity. That's another important ingredient of opportunity assessment that we and other management advisors have to sell. It's also the ingredient that's often lacking within the boundaries of client organizations and one reason why consultants are hired in the first place.
     By the way, some prospective clients do not engage outside advice and opinion specifically because they do not seek objectivity! Not a great attitude in my opinion, but of course I'm biased.
     This "objectivity dilemma" is especially acute in enterprises that are evaluating internally imagined business opportunities. The avoidance of outside assistance and advice is certainly appropriate in many situations where opportunity assessment is routine, straightforward and readily handled internally. But, in my experience, those situations are actually quite rare.
     The problem is momentum. Once an internally generated idea takes hold and has significant resources allocated to it, the organization becomes reluctant to risk derailing it by seeking outside advice and assistance. In this case momentum risks failure, or at least disappointment, in the marketplace. Seeking a second opinion from a competent, objective advisor - the sooner the better - is often a worthy step.
     That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. You can read some of my prior thoughts on opportunity assessment specifically as it relates to new products in either short form or long form. Please share your own take on this issue.

Our Contributions to Client Success             
     You can explore the various categories of our consulting engagements and a small sampling of our prior engagements dealing specifically with opportunity assessment.

     Contact me to start a dialog.
More Design Insights             
     My obsession with all things related to product design endures. In addition to my focus on Forma Medical Device Design last month, I offer two other writings to explore. The first deals with a usability design approach for FDA medical product submissions by Chris Ross. The second shares some insights into empathetic design by Dorothy Leonard.
Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine my Newsletter Archive of prior Trilogy Tidings (since February 2007).
What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Contact Information
ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/trilogy