The Rise of Entrepreneurial Thinking

Andrew J. Czaplewski, Thomas N. Duening and Eric M. Olson
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
  • Despite the commonalities between new product development and entrepreneurship, the stage-gate process inherently relies on predictive logic.
  • Despite the explosion of research, literature and consulting designed to help improve the new product development process, success rates are still at dismally low levels.
  • For those using entrepreneurial thinking, committed partners and strategic relationships have value that goes far beyond the costs of sharing the rewards of success.

Experts examine how non-predictive logic can inform the new product development process.

Bringing new products to market has a lot in common with starting an entrepreneurial venture. Both processes have high levels of risk, are characterized by ambiguous development paths and have high failure rates. However, research into how expert entrepreneurs create successful ventures has discovered that they use a profoundly different approach to commercializing new products than the common “stage-gate” process used by the majority of North American companies. Specifically, in a 2009 Journal of Marketing article, “Marketing Under Uncertainty: The Logic of an Effectual Approach,” the authors found that those without entrepreneurial expertise rely mostly on predictive logic, while expert entrepreneurs rely on non-predictive logic. A predictive approach is linear, has predetermined goals, and assumes a continuation of the past, while a non-predictive approach is dynamic and iterative, and has open-ended goals.

Despite the commonalities between new product development and entrepreneurship, the stage-gate process inherently relies on predictive logic. Here, we discuss how non-predictive logic, also termed “entrepreneurial thinking,” can be used to extract latent value that has been discarded during the stage-gate process, and the four principles of this approach.

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Author Bio:

 
Andrew J. Czaplewski, Thomas N. Duening and Eric M. Olson
Andrew J. Czaplewski is a professor of marketing and international business; Thomas N. Duening is the El Pomar Chair of Business and Entrepreneurship and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business; Eric M. Olson is a professor of marketing and strategic management, all at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

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