Expert's Panel

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    What are the advantages and disadvantages of joint development as part of product development positioning?

  1. On the positive side, it is less costly. There are technical advantages as no one company has all the technology. Another is efficiency—at the end you hope to have a product that is better than your competition. A fourth is branding.

    On the downside—I have done a lot of joint developments—a negative is timing. I have never personally experienced one that went as quickly as we could have done ourselves if we had all the resources. Timing is very critical.

  2. Answer 2—Any time you are going to have a joint development, the definition of the project and responsibilities need to be clearly spelled out and both sides need to be realistic. There is a little thing called leverage—the power of the relationship between partners. Even if the project definition is solid, if one side has all of the power—money, technology, etc.—the project is going to be difficult to bring to satisfactory conclusion.