In today’s world, successful new products can make or break a firm’s fortunes. The recent success of many firms such as Apple, Google, Toyota or GE has been to a large extent driven by the success of their new products. According to Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, “The only source of profit, the only reason to invest in companies in the future is their ability to innovate and their ability to differentiate.”
However, in spite of the huge investments firms make to develop and market new products, according to some estimates, over 90% of the new products fail to meet their sales expectations in two years after launch. Developing new products quickly enough, responding to new market opportunities, or utilizing new technological breakthroughs continue to pose a challenge to managers and organizations. In this course we examine in detail why these problems occur and what one can do about them. It is at the same time designed to give us a basic understanding of how firms manage their new products.