• Stephen Narsoo

New Product Development (NPD): Creative Digital Business Modelling.

New Product Development (NPD) Kite Capital

Today, so many new business models are emerging. It is the age of digital disruption. Competition is fierce and the risk of failure is high. Everyday thousands of new applications are launched into the market. The question remains, how do you build a digital business that can succeed in this crowded market place? And what is the best model for designing a digital business? Software as a product is unlike any other economic good, we have encountered in history. It is notoriously expensive to produce and very cheap to reproduce. Up until now, we have been using traditional business models and applying these models to software products. However, this will not work, as software products have radically changed the way in which we think about business. It's impact on business models have been profound. Yet we still use outdated business models ill-suited for software products, when the fundamental economic basis for digital products are different.

Through years of trial and error, using traditional business models, Kite Capital has developed a model and system for developing software products. Our model is called the New Product Development model and our system is called the Bootcamp for Digital Entrepreneurs.

The reason why we created this model-system, is that so many start-ups fail because they do not understand the true potential of their own digital businesses. They fail because the business of software is poorly understood. The New Product Development model is a systematic creative process for developing digital products. It aims to empower every single entrepreneur by giving them the knowledge and tools to act. We are preeminently concerned with action. Based on almost fifteen years of studying the most successful tech businesses we find that success comes down to having a model and system for solve problems creatively. So we created one.

Crunching the data, we discovered that there seems to be an unusual penchant that successful entrepreneurs have for finding novel and out of the box approaches to the obstacles they face. That somehow they are able to codify a culture of creative problem solving through every aspect of their business. Another way to describe this process is to think of this as adopting an 'outlier' mindset. They do things that are outside the normal distribution curve of thinking, they are willing to try oftentimes silly things- if it gets adoption of their products. They are committed to asking more questions than providing answers and they are willing to stoically hunt for the right customers for their products. Think about Brian Chesky co-founder of Airbnb selling cheerios to fund his start-up. Or Travis Kalanick having a brainwave about his early adopters for Uber being the drivers of black limousines. This 'outlier' thinking and tinkering mentality is the single differentiator between success and failure.

Kite Capital has applied this learning using hundreds of books, case studies and best practice and developed the New Product Development model and Bootcamp training system. It is based on three main stages of evolution:

Stage 1: Idea- the idea stage is about thinking deeply about what problem you are solving, for whom and why. We delve into your key idea and test through multiple techniques the elegance of your idea. We discover new ways to frame problems and uncover various tactics for developing 'idea options' for your problem. We develop unique customer personas, we develop user stories and delve into hearts and minds of you and your customer. We want the best ideas to surface, giving us the best chance of success.

Stage 2: Product- not just any product will do. We adopt a process of product creation. What is the most innovative and exciting way to solve a problem? We move from; product vision, to 'product why's and how's' and eventually to product features and roadmap.

Stage 3: System- how do we develop a system that deliver values in the most efficient manner to customers? We design a system of delivery, looking at designing new models for distribution and establishing price and revenue strategies.

It's an experiential journey, where we take entrepreneurs through; learning, designing and applying experiences. It's made of a six-module training program, where we undergo more than fifty exercises and activities. Practising is better than anything, through practice we become masters and therefore we have based this model on our own experience as a start-up. The Bootcamp for digital entrepreneurs is the practical application of the New Product Development process, we have packed our knowledge into a learning program. It is a model that is universal and repeatable. But more than this, our goal is to unearth the best ideas. Ideas that can change the world. In the words of Steve Jobs “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”



©2019 By Kite Capital (Pty) Ltd.

Unit 8, 117 Langermann Drive


Johannesburg, South Africa, 2007.