My work gives me the opportunity to work with fantastic technology companies from apps and enterprise software developers to advanced engineering firms in aerospace, automotive and more. My role is to bring ideas to life, to take products to market and the focus is on addressing a challenge/need. Working (typically) on a cost-driven model, that enables scalability and maximum market opportunity.
Sometimes the company view of commercialisation is as a means to enable further technology innovation and development. Other times it’s a means to drive revenue and sometimes to position the company for scale/exit, though this is a position I don’t see as often as I’d expect.
When a company chooses to live and die by the technology, they need to be aware that this really means their business can really live or die. When I’ve heard this statement it refers to a technology led company that relies on the technology design and development skills of their team, going to market with bespoke consultancy and prototyping that refines, innovates and furthers their technology roadmap not necessarily the bottom line.
This is where I would issue a word of caution, make a clear choice on whether you want to be an R&D company or a commercial business. If it’s the former the value driven business model focussing on bespoke solutions and in-house innovations is well within your gift. If it’s the latter then be prepared to not follow your ideal tech innovation roadmap as the market may demand something different that to really scale needs to be licensed, put out as a divestiture or even selling the IP.
Great technology and commercialisation can and should go hand-in-hand, but reliance on the technology alone risks myopia, whereby you are not building for your customers you are building for yourself.