Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Handpresso (parts A & B)
© 2011 INSEAD Case Study

Case A describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It shows the importance the role of prototyping plays in developing an innovative product, capturing the phases and decisions involved along the design path. The machine is ready for tooling and the CEO of Nielsen Innovation must decide to bring the product to market. Should it be licensed as they had done with other products they had designed? Or should they create a stand-alone business? Case B describes how and why the team started a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine, and managed to grow the business in a short space of time.

Pedagogical Objectives: The case reviews some simple principles in product innovation. It can be used to discuss the notion of "recombination" of existing ideas and how it leads to novel and useful products. Case A teaches the crucial role of prototyping to communicate ideas among stakeholders in the innovation process (not only within the development team but also with customers and potential partners). It highlights the role of prototyping in enabling design iterations (as an intrinsic part of the innovation process). Case B discusses the options available to capture the value of Handpresso. Taking a structured approach to "monetize" a good idea, it looks at the pros and cons of licensing vs. "do it yourself".