Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keynote Presentation from Mike Santori: Using Protyping to Reduce the Risk of Innovation

Mike Santori begins his keynote speech by discussing how the biggest area where we are seeing prototyping to reduce the risk of innovation is in alternative energy.

There is a misconception especially in the automobile industry where computer simulation can replace building an actual prototype, but it is necessary to do so.

Values of Prototyping

  • Vet Unknown technical risk and challenges
  • Vet unknown business model risk
  • Attract resources - people and capital
  • Speed time to market
  • Find and sell early to market
The first step is ideation where you talk to your peers about building a case that the invention or idea is going to create. Next, you start proving a case and building a data sheet. Next comes the specification stage where you start doing alpha testing. Lastly, you have the idea and its in the market, that's when you start getting customers.

8 tips to successful prototyping
- Ideas are cheap, proving values is hard
- Ensure you can demo your prototype
- Start with a paper design
- Put in just enough work
- Avoid focusing on cost too early
- Fight “reversion to the mean”
- Anticipate for multiple options
- Look for opportunities for reuse

Mike leaves us with some comments on how right now there is a transformation going on in the academic landscape where there is more hands on project-based learning for kids. Educators are trying to engage kids in real life science because they are the future innovators of 2020.

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