Assignment 3:

Choose ANY 3. Forecasting Technology Diffusion should be one of those chosen.

Reference: Scott A. Shane, “Technology Strategy for Managers and Entrepreneurs”, First Edition, Pearson (2013)

 

Chapter 2: Technology Evolution

  1. Technology S-Curves: Select a technology with which you are familiar. Identify measures of performance

of the technology and of the cumulative amount of effort to develop the technology over time (e.g., R&D expense, person-hours devoted to the technology, etc.). Putting the performance measure on the vertical axis and the effort measure on the horizontal axis, plot the relevant S-curve for that technology. Then identify the point on the S-curve at which the technology is currently. Once you are done graphing the technology S-curve, use the figure you created to answer the following questions:

Is the technology/industry subject to “natural” technological limits? Why or why not? Has it experienced disruptions? Is it likely to do so soon? How will customer characteristics evolve as companies move along the technology S-curve? During a disruption, how will the customers of the old and new technology differ?

 

Chapter 2: Technology Evolution

  1. Dominant Designs: For an industry/technology with which you are familiar, identify a dominant design. Then examine the industry/technology before and after the dominant design emerged. Document the effect of the dominant design on (1) changes in the number of firms in an industry, (2) the relative investment by firms in product and process innovation, (3) the nature of competition between firms, (4) the average profit margin of firms, and (5) the typical organizational structure.

 

Chapter 3: Technology Adoption and Diffusion

  1. Technology Adoption Select a new technology product or service that you know well. Describe the distribution of adopters. (e.g., Is it normal or does it take another shape? If it takes another shape, what is that shape?) What proportion of adopters fall into each group? Describe the characteristics of the different adopter groups? (e.g., innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards). Identify the factors that you think will influence adoption of this product or service by the different groups of adopters. Explain how to “cross the chasm” to gain adoption of the product or service by the majority of the market.

 

Chapter 3: Technology Adoption and Diffusion

  1. Forecasting Technology Diffusion The purpose of this exercise is for you to use the Bass model [http://bassbasement.org/BassModel/] to predict the adoption of a new technology product, in this case the e-book. Your assignment is to develop a forecast for the diffusion of that product or service over the next 20 years. Assume that the maximum number of e-books that could ever be sold in a year in the United States is 500 million. In addition, assume the rate of innovator adoption to be 0.082 and the rate of imitator adoption to be 0.416. In an Excel spreadsheet, calculate the number of customers adopting annually, as well as the cumulative number of adopters in each year. Then plot the expected pattern of diffusion over the next 20 years. Now change the rate of innovator adoption to 0.20 and the rate of imitator adoption to 0.05. How does the adoption pattern change? What if you change the rate of innovator adoption to 0.05 and the rate of imitator adoption to 0.20? What happens if you leave the rate of imitator and innovator adoption the same but change the maximum market size never to be exceeded to 100 million? Why is the adoption pattern different under these different scenarios?

Note: Excel spreadsheet and web interfaces are available at: http://bassbasement.org/BassModel/

 

Chapter 5: Sources of Innovation

  1. Corporate R&D Pick a company. Go to its Web site or conduct a Google search to find information about its R&D. How much money does the firm spend on R&D? What proportion is spent on basic research and what portion is spent on applied development? Explain how the firm manages the balance between “basic” and “applied” research. Why does it make the choices that it does? Are the choices “correct”? Why?

Evaluation:

Criteria Excellent (2 Marks) Acceptable (1 Mark) Poor (0 Mark)
Reasoning behind the S-Curve Following of natural technological limits is described clearly. Following of natural technological limits is described partially. Following of natural technological limits is not described.
Impact of disruptions on new and old customers Impact of disruptions on new and old customers is studied and justified clearly. Impact of disruptions on new and old customers is studied and but not justified clearly. Impact of disruptions on new and old customers is neither studied nor justified clearly.
Effect of dominant design on investment and returns Investment on product and process innovation, consideration for the competition and organizational structure are discussed. Investment on product and process innovation, consideration for the competition and organizational structure are partially discussed. Investment on product and process innovation, consideration for the competition and organizational structure are not discussed.
Adoption of a technology from different groups. How to “Cross the chasm”? Various groups are carefully studied. “Cross the chasm” is elaborated. Various groups are carefully studied. “Cross the chasm” is not elaborated. Various groups and  “Cross the chasm” are not elaborated.
Forecasting technology diffusion Respective Bass Model is used and analyzed. Respective Bass Model is used but not analyzed. Respective Bass Model not used.
R&D spending and its causes, reasons and impacts Balance between “basic” and “applied” research spending are discussed with reasons. Balance between “basic” and “applied” research spending are discussed but without reasons. Balance between “basic” and “applied” research spending are not discussed.