Great Mistakes In Technology Commercialisation – A 20 Year Retrospective

20 years ago, 'Great Mistakes in Technology Commercialization' was published. What are the five 'Great Mistakes' in the paper? They are:

  • A failure to distinguish the scientific and technical 'features' of a product/service from the 'benefits' it brings to users/customers
  • 'Top-down market assessment' such as 'the market is $5bn, so we only need 1% market share to reach $50m sales'
  • Failing to make the technology robust and practical in usage (the 'Chicken-gun test')
  • Poor project management
  • Entrepreneurs not understanding costs, and investors not understanding the add-on benefits of platform technologies.

20 years on, how does the paper stack up in hindsight? What would be added now?

Join Dr Kevin Parker and Professor Michael Mainelli to hear their there thoughts for great mistakes in technology commercialization in 2023.


Dr Kevin Parker started his career with a bang by blowing up a laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Some 40 years later, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and runs KKI Associates, a training and consultancy company helping start-up companies and individuals achieve their promise. From 1997 onwards KKI has been one of the pioneers of technology commercialisation in Scotland, Its clients have included 19 Russell Group Universities, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, many parts of Scottish Enterprise, various City think-tanks, and a variety of NGO’s (including the Episcopal Church of Scotland). In 2021, KKI completed its 500th commercial assignment. As well as his science qualifications, Kevin is a Sloan Fellow of London Business School. He has carried out extensive voluntary work, running 25 Cub Scout camps, and being an award winning mentor for the Princes Trust.

Professor Michael Mainelli is a qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin. Michael gained his PhD at the London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor of Innovation & IT. Michael is Emeritus Professor, Fellow, & Trustee at Gresham College where he created the Long Finance initiative asking “when would we know our financial system is working?” His third book, The Price Of Fish: A New Approach To Wicked Economics And Better Decisions, won the Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael is an Alderman and was elected Sheriff of the City of London 2019-2021.

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

16:00 - 16:45 GMT


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    Dr Kevin Parker
    Founder & Director
    KKI Associates
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    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Z/Yen Group