Envisioning Innovation Opportunities Through Science Fiction

A Self‐Tuning Model for Smart Manufacturing SMEs

Envisioning Innovation Opportunities Through Science Fiction

Thomas Michaud and Francesco Paolo Appio

kHUB post date: October 25, 2022
Originally published: January 12, 2022 (PDMA JPIM • Vol 39, Issue 2 • March 2022)
Read time: 30 minutes

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The inherent uncertainty of the innovation process, along with the fast-changing world of technology, presents significant difficulties to modern companies. As a result, product managers and engineers are under growing pressure to come up with better, more effective, more inventive solutions faster. Science fiction is one of the various approaches available, although it is yet relatively unexplored. Despite the fact that science fiction has demonstrated its promise in a variety of areas, it is sometimes seen as little more than an escapism. In this Catalyst, we show how to use science fiction into the innovation process to help product managers and engineers envision new opportunities. We provide a preliminary explanation of how science fiction may be implemented by showcasing evidence from inventors and pioneering companies and demonstrating examples of utopian technology transformed into reality. Finally, we offer a set of actionable research directions to promote debate and discussion among product managers, engineers, and academics.

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