Issue 125 - 03 | Launching Billion-Dollar Products: How Extreme Entrepreneurs Bring Successful Ideas to Market

By John Sviokla & Mitch Cohen
Published Jan. 21, 2015 10:00 a.m.
“All businesses care about quality ideas: the new product they want to develop or the new market they want to exploit. Self-made billionaires are no different in their emphasis on ideas, but that is where the similarity ends. Traditional businesses often organize so that their individual functions specialize in one area of endeavor. The goal is to operate with optimum efficiency and to avoid conflict between groups and individuals who think differently from each other. As a result, people who are responsible for developing ideas work separately from the people who are responsible for bringing them to market. Product developers work separately from the manufacturing department; manufacturing is separate from marketing and sales, etc. There are logical reasons for this kind of separation, but the consequence so often is that even the best ideas are subject to compromise as they move from development to market. The qualities that make that idea new or great get watered down in the process of going live, and the original idea developer is rarely involved or influential enough to protect and optimize the qualities that make the idea good in the first place.

Self-made billionaires, by contrast, view execution as a creative act that is inextricable from the idea itself.”

About John Sviokla & Mitch Cohen | John Sviokla is the head of Global Thought Leadership at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP). He serves a variety of Fortune 500 clients on the topics of strategy and innovation and runs the Exchange, the firm’s think tank. Mitch Cohen is vice chairman at PwC. During his 33-year career at the firm, including more than 20 as a partner, he has served numerous Fortune 500 clients. Mitch has also helped to guide the firm’s strategy as well as its initiatives around innovation and corporate responsibility.

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