The history books of technology are full of misunderstood inventions Not all of them were bad but some of them just hit the market at the wrong time Ingenious misses Inventors are like gamblers They keep hoping to hit a jackpot even though the odds are against them At least 85 percent of the development time invest ed in products ends in nothing says someone who obviously knows what he s talking about Profes sor Reinhold Bauer Head of the History of Impact of Technology Department at the University of Stutt gart s Institute of History The history of failure is his favorite topic In this context he defi nes innova tion as the fi rst economic exploitation of a new solution to a problem which may be a process or product and measures success in terms of having By Roland Löwisch succeeded in recovering the development costs Bauer has identifi ed fi ve reasons for failure tech nical issues superior competition misjudgment of potential users excessively radical novelty and or an unstable development environment Normally the general public is oblivious to inven tions that have been for the birds because argu ably no company is inclined to open its typically overfl owing archives of failures The situation is diff erent in the case of products and ideas that ac tually attempted a market launch We ve selected a few examples to illustrate the point 32

Vorschau Schaeffler tomorrow 02-2020 EN Seite 32
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