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Process for Predicting Technology Success

According to Forrester Research, companies are constantly launching new products that they hope will strike a chord with consumers. But how did Apple's iPod hit it big while WebTV and the tablet PC failed to catch on with mainstream consumers?

The answer lies in our new report, "TechPotential: Predicting Technology Success." Their research concludes that success or failure rests on a simple truth: Consumers adopt products when they can easily identify the benefits of those products and when they believe those benefits are worth the effort and cost (investment in time, energy and money).

TechPotential is a tool that Forrester has developed to forecast sales of new consumer technology products and services. It evaluates three aspects of a product's launch -- consumer demand, usability and design, and marketing execution -- to project five-year unit sales of new products. The growth curve is driven by three factors:

-Consumer Demand -- which is determined by the consumer's negotiation of the cost and benefits of the product, dictates the potential five-year growth of a product by identifying a universe of possible consumers, analyzing comparable products, and estimating potential consumer demand.

-Usability -- rating a product's design and usability based on four criteria: 1) consumer first impression; 2) installation; 3) first use; and 4) long-term value. Usability can drive word of mouth for a new product and determines how fast a product can grow.

-Execution -- assessing the producer's ability to effectively market and distribute the product and to forge partnerships that will benefit the product's uptake. These marketing factors can slow or quicken the pace at which a new product sells, especially in the first year.

TechPotential is designed to reveal not just which products will succeed but also why -- and how to redirect strategy to maximize that success.

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