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How do technology innovators, business executives, and venture capitalists manage the technical elements of business risk when developing and launching new products? Overcoming technical risks requires crossing the so-called valley of death—the gap between demonstrating the soundness of a technical concept in a controlled setting and readying the product technology for the market.
Crossing the valley of death may mean bringing university-based research to the point where it appears viable to venture capitalists, or bridging the cultural gap between technical innovators and the managers who are being asked to risk their institutional resources. In every context, purely technical risks are coupled with the market risks inherent in innovation.In this book LewisBranscomb and Philip Auerswald address early-stage, high-tech innovation in the context of business decision making and innovation policy. The topics addressed include the extent to which purely technical risk is separable from market risk; how industrial managers make decisions on funding early-stage, high-risk technology projects; and under what circumstances government can and should act to reduce the technical risks of innovative projects so that firms will invest in them. The book includes contributions by Mary Good, George Hartmann, James McGroddy, Mike Myers, Michael Roberts,and F. M. Scherer.
|I||Between Invention and Innovation||8|
|Technical Risk, Product Specifications, and Market Risk||30|
|II||Defining Risks and Rewards||44|
|The Dual-Edged Role of the Business Model in Leveraging Corporate Technology Investments||57|
|III||Institutional Differences: Large, Medium-Sized, and New Firms||69|
|Raising Mice in the Elephants' Cage||87|
|IV||More Ways to Fail Than to Succeed: Strategies for Managing Risk||96|
|Technology Policy for a World of Skew-Distributed Outcomes||125|
|Will Industry Fund the Science and Technology Base for the Twenty-First Century?||158|
|VI||The Changing Landscape: Innovators, Firms, and Government||168|
|About the Contributors||199|