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GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 8, Issue 9 - September 4, 2007
GGI RapidNews is published approximately once a month.


In This Issue

GGI BIENNIAL SURVEY - 2007 Survey is Underway

GGI NEWS & NOTES - GGI's "Gateways Calendar" New Look, Updated Listings

MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - Electronic Business Top 25 Distributors


BOOK REVIEW - Open Business Models Henry Chesbrough

BOOK REVIEW - Manage It! Johanna Rothman





TELEVISION EVENTS - Alexander Haig's World Business Review



GGI's 2007 Biennial Product Development Metrics Survey is now available on the web. We extend our sincere thanks to the group of Beta-testers who provided feedback to us across a range of industries.

This year's theme is "Innovation Processes, Tools, Techniques, & Metrics." Each GGI Biennial Survey has a "research theme" that we select based on what we believe will be a hot topic in industry for the next 2-5 years. In the past we have surveyed product selection and decision making, capacity management, and intellectual property. In 2004, "innovation" became a hot topic and was ranked by CEOs in several different surveys as being among their top three priorities. The importance continued until this past year when, due to a perceived inability to make innovation tangible, CEO's lowered its priority. GGI believes that this is a temporary setback that will spur management, management scientists, and industry advisors to work towards concrete actions that will make innovation more tangible. Towards that end, we have designed a primary research questionnaire to explore some of the more tangible aspects of innovation that exist today. There are processes that are used to innovate. There are tools that are available to facilitate brainstorming and other critical thinking. There are metrics that drive behavior. Our 2007 primary research will help to bring to the forefront what is tangible today and how well industry understands it and uses it.

We invite all product development professionals to participate in the survey by logging on to The site provides a description of past surveys as well as instructions for completing the current version. If you are already familiar with GGI's Biennial Survey and wish to participate in 2007, please download a .pdf of our 2007 research questionnaire.

The Table of Contents for the 2007 Survey is:
  • Innovation Environment
  • Innovation Processes
  • Innovation Identity
  • Innovation Tools
  • Top Corporate Metrics In Industry R&D Practices

All participants will receive a complimentary 40-50 page Summary of the Survey Results at the conclusion of the study. The Summary will address each survey question. For each survey question, we will provide factual observations, management analysis, and graphed answers. GGI is more generous than other firms in what we provide back to the folks that make the time to participate in our research. We understand how busy every one is and a short summary of highlights does not provide an adequate return on time invested. We have received only compliments for what we have provided participants in the past.

Please be sure that your responses will be held 100% confidence. We will never release data in any form that can be attributed to a single company or single response. We will never release data in a small enough sample that any person or organization can figure out which companies were in the sample. GGI has been in business for twenty years and we understand the importance of being trusted and confidential. In fact, we believe that the survey questions do not request any information that would be considered confidential in nature and thus would require permission of a senior manager to be released.

The survey close date is October 15, 2007. For more information please contact Brett Kratchman at GGI at 781-444-5400 x202.


GGI NEWS & NOTES - Staff Updates

With the approach of Autumn comes a fresh new look for GGI's "Calendar" section. This free service, offered on the GGI Web site under the "Gateways" heading, connects readers to upcoming conferences, distance learning sites, seminars, colleges & universities, executive education, and corporate-sponsored universities.

We have also improved the user interface for the Distance Learning and Seminar portals and have updated the 2007 Conference section with 62 more events. GGI has also color-coded major industry events for easy identification.

All three locations are organized with the following categories:

  • Strategic, Knowledge & General Management
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Product Development
  • Manufacturing & Automation
  • Software, Internet & IT
  • Project Management
  • Metric

GGI's Calendar of Industry Events is accessible on the GGI Home Page through the "Calendar Of Industry Events" icon.

MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - Electronic Business Names Top 25 Electronics Distributors

Condensed from Electronics Business Top 25 Electronics Distributors Special Issue, May 2007, published by Reed Business Information, Waltham, MA.

This ranking of the top North American electronics distributors not only lists the most successful firms; it also reflects the effects globalization has had on the industry.

As with previous years, the top 25 distributors are ranked on North American revenue. But the world's largest distributors, Avnet (No. 1 in both North American and global revenue) and Arrow (No. 2), derive half of their total sales from regions other than North America. Furthermore, China now has its own column among major marketplaces.

Distributors report that foreign environmental initiatives continue to be a challenge. While the preparation for Europe's Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) seemed like a lengthy process, much of the inventory disruption prompted by the July 2006 implementation has dissipated. And companies say they feel better prepared for China's coming round of environmental mandates.

The top five companies on the Electronic Business list are:

Company                           2006 North American Revenue ($Million)

  • Avnet                              $7,530
  • Arrow Electronics            $6,800
  • Future Electronics            $3,185
  • Bell Microproducts          $1,394
  • Digi-Key Corporation      $704

For a copy of the Special Issue, contact Reed Business Information, 225 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451, phone: 781-734-8000.

MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - The Svalbard Seed Vault: A Fail Safe Bread Basket

Condensed from "Cold Storage," Wired Magazine, June 2007, Issue # 15.06, pages 176-177, published by Conde Nast Publications, New York, New York.

In addition to air and water, food is key to basic human survival. In the event that the world's crops are destroyed, either through human malevolence or the forces of nature, a consortium of organizations is tucking away 2 million seed varieties on a remote Arctic island

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is meant to be a fail-safe back-up for the fourteen hundred existing seed repositories located throughout the world. Created by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Nordic Gene Bank, and the Norwegian government, the vault is located in a tunnel that extends 400 feet into the side of a mountain. To maintain security, motion sensors and a webcam monitor the vault door. Inside, the seed are preserved by circulating air that is chilled to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Trust expects to finish construction of the Vault by October 2007, at a cost of roughly $6 million. The Norwegian government is funding construction and the Global Crop Diversity Trust has pledged to pay operational costs.

An illustrated copy of this article appears on the Wired Web site.


Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape, by Henry Chesbrough, Harvard Business School Press, 2006, Copyright 2006 by Harvard Business School Press, ISBN13: 978-1-4221-0427-9.

In his ground-breaking book, Open Innovation, Chesbrough demonstrates that useful information is no longer concentrated in a few large organizations. He urges  business managers to look outside their boundaries for relevant Intellectual Property (IP), and to license their own homegrown IP to other organizations.

Now, in Open Business Models, Chesbrough explains how to compete in an open innovation landscape by using a six-stage framework. With this diagnostic tool, managers can assess their company's current model and take steps to move to the next level.

Chesbrough also explores the impact that stronger IP protection has had on intermediate markets for innovation. He names several new "innovation intermediaries," including Big Idea Group and Ocean Tomo. He also cites Qualcomm and Intellectual Ventures as companies that center their business model on innovation and IP.

The book provides an extended discussion of how three companies - Air Products, IBM and Proctor & Gamble - have opened their business models. Suggestions include:

  • Constructing experiments to search for new revenue sources.
  • Using those experiments to gauge if your company is headed in a more open direction.
  • Scaling up your new business mode to high volume across your company and its customers.

Business model innovation should be of interest to senior managers in general management, marketing, business development, legal (particularly IP), finance and new product and process development. We recommend this book to anyone seeking to connect innovation with IP management.

For more information about Open Business Models, or to order a copy of the book, go to the Web site.


Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, by Johanna Rothman, The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2007, Copyright 2007 by Johanna Rothman, ISBN-      10 0-9787392-4-8.

Written for software project managers (PM), Manage It! presents low-tech techniques that address the most pressing issues of modern software development including:

  • different project life cycles
  • organizing a project
  • preparing project dashboards
  • staffing a project
  • knowing when a project is done

The book provides insight into managing the risks that arise from within a project as well as well as those that exist at the start of a project. From chartering to release, each chapter discusses ways to see inside a software project, to measure it and to direct it.

Rothman notes that there is no "One True Way" that works for all projects. Instead, she suggests practices for each life cycle that can help project teams accomplish their goals. She includes forward and backward references in the text (an interesting reflection of the nonlinear quality of projects).

This book is a great introduction for junior project managers and a handy guide for senior PMs. We recommend it to all software project managers and lead developers.

For more information about Manage It! or to order a copy of the book, go to the Web site.



GGI will sponsor its R&D--Product Development Innovation Summit on October 2-4, 2007 in metro Boston. Please join us for eight comprehensive modules that surround the subject of Innovation in R&D and Product Development.

The goals of the Innovation Summit are to help innovation leaders sort out  "innovation processes" from "innovation tools and techniques. The Summit will review the history of innovation over the past 15 years and will inventory the range of tools, techniques, and software available today. All of this will be put in a context so that specific action may be taken to improve a company's inventive abilities.

The Innovation Modules are:

All modules feature some level of case study discussion and include examples from a range of industries. There will be three group exercises to practice well-regarded innovation methodologies. As with all GGI Summits, we will pave the road for you to direct the selection and implementation of tools and process that will bring leverage to your organization.

Discounts are available for teams of two or more people attending from the same company.

If RN readers are planning on attending, please register now for the Innovation Summit.

For more details on the Product Development Summit, please go to GGI's Innovation Summit web site which is also available on our home page. If you are already registered, our leisure time activities page may prove useful for planning transportation, meals, and personal time outside the Summit.


No new products were added to The Wisdom iStore since last we wrote. For more information, or to order any GGI products, please go to The Wisdom iStore.


GTK- Gateway To Knowledge is a DIRECTORY OF THOUSANDS OF LINKS to providers of engineering, purchasing, and manufacturing technologies and services.  If you hit the right subjects, it is more useful than a search engine! The "main entrance" to GTK can be found at:

For those of you that do not want to go through the main entrance above, some of the Gateways that we believe you will find useful or entertaining are highlighted below.

Technology Providers
Service Providers
Professional & Trade Associations
Government Services



GGI's Calendar of Industry Events contains an up-to-date listing of links to Conferences, Seminars, Distance Learning Centers, Colleges & Universities, Executive Education, and Corporate-Sponsored Universities.   The calendar has just been updated with 60 upcoming conferences and seminars throughout 2007.  The categories we follow are:
Distance Learning Centers
Colleges & Universities
Executive Education
Corporate-Sponsored Universities

The categories of conferences, seminars, and distance learning are further organized into the following subject areas:
Strategic, Knowledge & General Management
Marketing & Sales - Mechanical, Electro-Mechanical, Electrical, & Electronic
Marketing & Sales - Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, & Life Sciences
Product Development - Mechanical, Electro-Mechanical, Electrical, & Electronic
Product Development - Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, & Life Sciences
Manufacturing & Automation - Mechanical, Electro-Mechanical, Electrical, & Electronic
Manufacturing & Automation - Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, & Life Sciences
Software, Internet & IT
Project Management

If you are looking for a conference or other learning opportunity, check out the Calendar.  This free service for our readers is front and center on GGI's Home Page.  Or, go directly to the Calendar of Industry Events MEGA Gateway.



Alexander Haig's World Business Review: Brad Goldense has made several appearances on Alexander Haig's World Business Review. Streaming video is available for all shows, which aired on August 4, September 29 and December 15, 2002 and on May 20, 2003. See below for details.

May 20, 2003 Broadcast of September 29th In-Studio with Alexander Haig (22.5 minutes): Streaming video for this segment is available on GGI's web site.

December 15, 2002 In-Studio with Alexander Haig (7.5 minutes) on CNBC paid programming: Streaming video for this segment is available on GGI's web site.

September 29, 2002 In-Studio with Alexander Haig (22.5 minutes): Streaming video for this segment (as well as the entire 30-minute show) is available on GGI's web site.

August 4, 2002 On-Location at GGI (3.5 minutes): This On-Location field report is available in streaming video on GGI's web site.

The web page includes links to download a streaming video player, if you do not currently have one installed on your computer.

For more information on any of Brad's appearances on television, go to:


GGI RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book and article reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at) Thank you.