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Experimentation Matters

Unlocking the Potential of New Technologies for Innovation

Stefan H. Thomke


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Every company's ability to innovate depends on a process of experimentation whereby new products and services are created and existing ones improved. But the cost of experimentation is limiting. New technologies--including computer modeling and simulation--promise to lift that constraint by changing the economics of experimentation. They amplify the impact of learning, creating the potential for higher R&D performance and innovation and new ways of creating value for customers. Stefan H. Thomke argues that to unlock such potential, companies must not only understand the power of new technologies for experimentation, but also fundamentally change their processes, organization, and management of innovation. He shows why experimentation is so critical to innovation, explains the impact of new technologies, and outlines what managers must do to integrate them successfully.

Harvard Business Review Press, 9781578517503, 320pp.

Publication Date: August 5, 2003

About the Author

Stefan Thomke is the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He has worked with global firms on product, process, and technology development, organizational design and change, and strategy. He is a widely published author with articles in leading journals such as California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and many others. He is also author of the book Managing Product and Service Development (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2006). He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching at HBS, and has been an HBR McKinsey Award Finalist.