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PUSH, PULL, AND THE

SOURCES OF INNOVATION
Professor Karl T. Ulrich

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Where does advantage come from?

1. (Illegal or regulated monopoly.)

2. Cost advantages from scale.

3. Doing something valuable, better, and different.

Dieren.ated products and services.


Rare capabili.es (e.g., cost eciency, safety, etc.).

Usually the focus for the entrepreneur.

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innova.on
A new match between a solu.on and a need.

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Value Crea6on in Innova6on
1. Is the need real?

2. Does the solu.on meet the need?

3. Is the customer willing to pay more for the solu.on than it costs to
deliver it?
Price Cost >> 0

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Pull
How can we solve this par.cular problem?

Which solu.on best meets the needs at aQrac.ve cost?

The Textbook Model


(and mostly the focus of this course)

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Source:
Wikimedia Commons,
Jacoplane
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Pull
How can we solve this par.cular problem?

Which solu.on best meets the needs at aQrac.ve cost?

Push
What can we do with our solu.on?

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Source:
U.S. Government,
Whitehouse
Photo: Jesse Follow
Photo: Greg Goebel
T3 Mo.on Patroller electric scooters
Value Crea6on in Innova6on
1. Is the need real?

2. Does the solu.on meet the need?

3. Is the customer willing to pay more for the solu.on than it costs to
deliver it?
Price Cost >> 0

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Photo: Segway
Pull
How can we solve this par.cular problem?

Which solu.on best meets the needs at aQrac.ve cost?

Push
What else can we do with our solu.on?

(and is our solu.on the best possible solu.on?)

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Another Flavor of Push
Broad consensus in society The Wright Brothers at KiQy Hawk, North Carolina, c1903
that the goal is worthy (e.g.,
heavier-than-air flight,
telephony, motion pictures,
time travel)
But, no actual customers
expressing the need.
Many, many innovators try
to solve the problem.
Eventually one or a few
may prevail.
Source: US Library of Congress
A long time later, real
markets emerge.
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