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From A to Z – how an idea becomes a product.

How does it work?

Daimler Business Innovation develops innovative ideas with Daimler AG at its core. But how exactly does an idea become a success? Using “pacTris” as an example we’ll share just what it takes, including the individual phases behind this development.

Phase 1: A seed is planted.

It all starts with an idea. The idea is generally devised by members of the core Business Innovation team but can come from any division within the company or external parties. If a promising idea is identified, it is important to first analyze so that the key components can be developed further. After establishing the concept, a first field attempt is made to gather information through an alpha version.

Phase 2: Test, test, test.

It all starts with an idea. The idea is generally devised by members of the core Business Innovation team but can come from any division within the company or external parties. If a promising idea is identified, it is important to first analyze so that the key components can be developed further. After establishing the concept, a first field attempt is made to gather information through an alpha version.

Phase 3: The first public appearance.

After completion of the first large-scale trial, it goes back to the workbench where a prototype or public beta version is developed based on the data gathered in the previous trial period.

Often this phase is carried out in collaboration with a partner who supports the Business Innovation team in producing a detailed business plan – thus ensuring the product or service is marketable.

Phase 4: The Grand Finale.

Even if the business plan and results of the public beta are convincing there’s still one last “test” that needs to be carried out: approval from the “Business Innovation Council” – the decision-making body of the Innovation Lab. This committee goes over the plan as well as lessons learned during the test phases in order to discuss and evaluate the marketability of the project. The committee delivers the final decision on whether a project will continue – or not. Either way it is of utmost importance to document the feedback so that the research can be incorporated into future projects.

And what about 'pacTris'?

'pacTris' has already successfully completed phase 1. The idea was developed during a Business Innovation workshop together with participants of a trainee program called “CAReer”. The team then presented their idea during DigitalLife Day 2015 in front of 500 employees. During the event, feedback from the jury and fellow participants was overwhelmingly positive – so much so that it was able to prevail against all the others. Read More.

The success during DigitalLife Day brought start-up capital allowing for the implementation of a demonstrator created by an international project team within a very short amount of time. While the concept was adopted in the form of an app, the business model was sketched in parallel. Read More.

Currently, preparations are underway for the next phase. The team has taken learnings from the first test phase and included it into the beta version of the app. They continue to enhance their business plan and are currently seeking partners to advance the project.

You can learn more in Part III of our 'pacTris' series. Stay tuned!

This article was published by Business Innovation, Daimler’s lab for innovative business solutions. Please find us on Twitter as well as Instagram and join the discussion in the Business Innovation Forum.