Thursday, May 1, 2014

REALLY Rapid Prototyping: Corning Tries to Cut Time to MVP by Half!

Tips from an Innovation Process Pro to Get a Minimum Viable Product Faster

By Marc Dresner, IIR

For a corporate effectiveness facilitator at a 163-year-old company of engineers, Laura Bissmeyer’s take on building a process around innovation may surprise you.

“There is no one right way to innovate, but there are lots of wrong ways,” said Bissmeyer, who belongs to a small group of experts at Corning charged with helping teams within R&D and the businesses streamline innovation.

Laura Bissmeyer
Where others fixate on the science of systems, Bissmeyer thinks in terms of art. Where others make a checklist, Bissmeyer picks up a conductor’s baton.

“You need to do the innovation process in a creative, artistic way,” said Bissmeyer.

“It’s like an orchestra,” she explained. “You must bring the right pieces together at just the right moment and just the right tempo in order for your team to be effective and not have a ‘check-the-box’ approach.”

The result can be undeniably beautiful music when the tune is doing more faster with the same resources.

“When we talk about speed, we talk about reducing time by 50-75% if we can for that first pass.”

“When we talk about speed, we talk about reducing time by 50-75% if we can for that first pass,” Bissmeyer told Forward Focus.

“It’s all about getting to that equation of one plus one is greater than two,” she added. 

“How do you get everybody to play their instruments together so that you come up with this piece of music that sounds better than any one instrument playing by itself?”

In this podcast with Forward Focus—the official interview series of FEI 2014—Bissmeyer takes us inside Corning’s efforts to increase speed to minimum viable product:

• Rapid prototyping in B2B: Why engaging the whole value chain is key

• Design firms: How they can help you frame discussions at each pass

• Narrowing down the list: When everything isn’t possible, how do you decide what matters? And more...

Editor’s note: Laura Bissmeyer will present “Creative, Iterative and Early Prototyping” at the 12th Annual Front End of Innovation Conference taking place May 13th through the 15th in Boston.

For more information or to register for FEI 2014, please visit us at

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

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