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The Success or Failure of an Innovation

Expert: Gary Svoboda

Adam asked:

How would you list the factors used to evaluate the success or failure of an innovation? Do you think they are necessary?

Gary Svoboda answered:

At the Canadian Innovation Centre in Waterloo, Ont., we have been evaluating the bright ideas of innovative Canadians since 1976. To date, we have assessed over 13,000 ideas.

In order to evaluate inventions, we perform something we call a Critical Factor Assessment. In it, we assess the idea using 37 criteria that we think are important indicators of the liklihood of success of the idea. Rather than go into all 37 criteria here, it should be noted that they all fall into four general categories: technical merit; market factors; intellectual property issues; and benefits to society.

Studies conducted by independent researchers of our inventor clients indicate that our assessments are indeed good indicators of success, with a high correlation between the rating we gave the idea and its ultimate degree of success.

About the author

Gary Svoboda, the Canadian Innovation Centre. The Canadian Innovation Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization with over 20 years of experience in assisting innovators and entrepreneurs with their new product ideas. The Centre offers an idea evaluation service, market research, licensing consulting, educational workshops, and consulting for innovators.

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