Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stanford & MIT Research Results: Xbox, iPod, RAZR Development Shows Benefits of Taking Turns

Excerpted from Network World article, Nov 7, 2007

Apple, Google, Motorola and others stand to deliver more successful products the more they are willing to cede total control to development partners -- at least temporarily, according to new MIT and Stanford University research.

The researchers -- Jason Davis of MIT's Sloan School of Management and Kathleen Eisenhardt of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program -- say the process of "rotating leadership" was found to be beneficial based on their examination of 10 companies across eight technology collaborations. Their paper, "Rotating Leadership and Symbiotic Organization: Relationship Processes in the Context of Collaborative Innovation"), disguises actual companies and projects behind names such as Cleopatra and Falstaff, but does cite specific companies such as Apple and Google and their willingness to work together in new ways to deliver potentially powerful products, such as an iPhone that plays YouTube videos, even as they might also go head to head, as in the case of the iPhone vs. Google's Android and possible gPhones.

Rotating leadership entails one company leaving its partner or partners completely alone for some period of time to concentrate on developing a product based on its area of expertise. The study illustrated the success of this approach in areas from VPNs to middleware to mobile e-mail.

Read the rest of the article online: Network World

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