Over the past ten years, we have produced numerous publications on emerging technologies, from RFID tags and supercomputers to hybrid vehicles and DVRs. Here are some highlights from projects that have appeared in print.
Power Partnership: Eaton, Environmental Defense and Federal Express In 2002, the truck components firm, Eaton, the advocacy group Environmental Defense, and shipping giant Federal Express formed a partnership to develop a hybrid electric delivery truck. Eaton delivered a working prototype on time and FedEx began a small pilot program with the hybrid truck in 2004. Media coverage of the new truck was positive and the project won the Roy Family Award for Environmental Excellence at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2005. However, the path to full-scale commercialization of the vehicle was costly and complex.
E Ink This HBS case study explores the challenges of commercializing a bleeding-edge technology. Between 1998 and 2005, E Ink spent more than $100 million to commercialize electronic ink. With business momentum picking up, but resources running out, the company experienced the trials and tribulations of bringing a new technology to market. Would this new technology gain traction in time to lead the company to profitability?
Rambus In the 1990s, Rambus developed a revolutionary memory technology that would help DRAMs keep pace with ever-faster microprocessors. In its attempt to set the industry standard, Rambus faced competition from other firms and was drawn into protracted litigation with several of its customers, other DRAM vendors, and ultimately the Federal Trade Commission. Nevertheless, Rambus continued to develop new products and partnerships in the microchip world. The case evaluates the impact of regulation, cooperation, and competition in the high tech market.
Apple Computer Apple enjoyed resounding success with its innovative music player, the iPod. However, its PC and server business continue to hold a small market share worldwide. This case contrasts Apple's skill in creating and marketing the iPod with results in other hardware categories. Will the iPod lure new users to the Mac? Will Apple produce another cutting-edge device in time to ride the next wave in consumer electronics?
TiVo TiVo launched digital video recorders and quickly developed an enthusiastic fan base in the late 1990s.. However, many other electronics firms jumped into DVRs and product differentiation quickly became a challenge. Seeking new strategies, the company partnered with Comcast and pushed into advertising; would these efforts lead it to profitability?
Palm Source Palm Source was facing intense challenges from handheld, wireless handheld, and smart phone vendors in 2005. In addition, changes in corporate structure had altered its relationship with its leading customer, PalmOne. As the company pursued a new strategy with Linux, the questions loomed: would fresh alliances and a new development platform lead to sustainable growth for this handheld pioneer?