Successes and Failures in Biotechnology Innovation
When I first started this paper I would have to admit that I was pretty green in the field of Biotechnology, I had a brief understanding but nothing near an in depth understanding of the field. So when I first started looking for a success story, I tied my views on successful innovation in the areas that I am familiar with to the biotech field. The major theme that emerged was that successful innovation equals a product that produces quality profits for a company. After further research on the success of innovation, you do realize that profits may be the end goal of the company but success stems from a total company wide effort, that may start many years before a single cent of profit is ever realized.
In my opinion, you have to look at three major areas to see if a company successfully manages their innovation; at the company level, customer level, and the impact the innovation had on society. From the company viewpoint, you have to look at how well management set the company up to be innovators in a given market. Did they choose an industry that would provide the company potential for continuous growth? How did they utilize their employee base and acquire a strong base of knowledge to continually come up with new ideas in the area of interest they are trying to enter? In addition once a product is developed did they manage their intellectual property in the in a manner which provided themselves maximum protection? Finally you have to look at the end results of the innovation. Did they introduce an innovation that allowed the company revenue to grow, were they able to achieve a strong segment of market share, did this innovation have a positive effect on the companies stock price, etc?
From the prospective of the customer you have to look at if the innovation introduced by the company successfully met their needs. Would this product help them save time and money and improve their overall business? How did they manage the channels to which deliver their products to their customers? Your customer will ultimately impact your final sales figures, if they view the product as a benefit to them and if you can meet the needs that the customer has you can have your innovation viewed as a success.
Finally from the standpoint of how the companies innovation had an impact on society. Was it viewed as a welcome innovation and did it have a positive impact as a whole? You could have a great product but if the press and other reputable sources view your product ass a detriment to society they can sink your innovation with bad press. An innovation that can meet the needs of these three categories can be viewed as success in my opinion. Yes its true that there have been innovations that have been viewed as a success even though they have meet one or more of these requirements but for the ultimate feeling of success I feel that threes three categories have been meet in some way shape or form.
My success story starts with a company called Monsanto. They original started as a chemical company providing primarily chemical herbicides to farm and household consumers for weed control but as of recent, nearing the expiration of the patent on their biggest cash cow "Roundup", they have changed their scope a company focusing on innovation in biotechnology, genomics and breeding. (Monsanto, 2005) They saw that their herbicide was still a leading seller in the industry and saw a way to improve on that product so they genetically engineered a soybean seed that would be resistant to their herbicide Roundup creating Roundup-Ready Soy beans, the first genetically engineered crop to be commercially available. Farmers now had to no longer apply herbicides before planting and on the borders of field they could spray the herbicides directly over the crops eliminating any weeds from intermingling and taking away nutrients from their crops producing bigger yields. They were an...
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