The Optical Industry is based on an old technology. The very first optical elements were burning glasses for starting a fire from the rays of the sun. While such elements probably never were as popular as matches in a later period, they may well have been the product of an industry and thus the basis of a business. In more modern times, the manufacture of optical components and devices has not only become big business but is also the foundation of a very large number of small businesses.
Everyone at Ponder & Best would like to extend their appreciation to SPIE for allowing us to share with you the experience our company had in developing an innovative line of consumer photographic lenses for 35mm SLR cameras. What follows will be a case study which briefly brings you behind the scenes at the tail-end of a 3 year program. There are many risks in describing any major corporate effort in research & development and marketing because in generalizing one must necessarily omit a long list of contributors to the effort. The Vivitar Series I Lens project, in relative terms, was enormous and involved almost one hundred people in the United States, Japan and Germany. In the interest of time, I will mention only the key people and concentrate most of my comments on the zoom lens development.
Technology transfer is likened to marketing. Some common misconceptions concerning the relevant principles are identified, and case studies are presented as guidelines to productive direction of technology transfer activities. A key rule given is: "React to the market pull, not to technology push."
Technological forecasting can be defined as follows: "A technological forecast is a prediction of the future characteristics of useful machines". There are three things which should be noted about this definition. First, the forecast need only describe the characteristics to be achieved in the future. This description is usually given in terms of operating performance. The forecast need not specify how this performance is to be achieved. Put another way, the forecaster need not invent that which he forecasts. In particular, if the forecast calls for performance characteristics which are beyond the theoretical limits which can be achieved by current technical approaches, the forecaster is not required to describe the successor approach. He has satisfied his obligations by warning that some breakthrough is coming. Second, the term "useful" in the definition is intended to exclude machines intended for luxury or amusement, since these are determined much more by human tastes than by technological capabilities. They are simply excluded from consideration as being too random to predict. Third, the term "machines" is to be construed broadly. The biological and behavioral technologies are just as much the province of the technological forecaster as are the more conventional hardware tech-nologies. Thus "machines" is to be understood as including methods, techniques and procedures.
Today, I am going to talk about how to raise money for your new venture. In spite of seemingly negative comments, there is money available for the really worthwhile venture. Also, I will cover some of the issues that will influence your chances of succeeding. This is after you have talked over the idea with friends, hopefully have the product idea fully developed, and have convinced your family that the venture will become the foundation of one of the world's great corporate enterprises.
In this 1975 economic slump with inflation, the challenge may be formidable for a small or medium-sized operation to get the capital for acquiring new specialized, sophisticated photo-optical instrumentation. This considers, also, the broadening concern over compliance with the Federal OSHA requirements.
The role of the patent system in the economy of the United States is discussed, particularly whether it has contributed significantly to technological progress. The disparate views are reviewed and a plea is made for wider interest in improvement of the existing patent laws.
The objective of this paper is to help management of technology-based companies to develop investor appeal. The business plan becomes an important ehicle in developing investor and banker interest in the company seeking capital. The document should be concise and in simple English so that it is easy to understand. It must cover the areas which are of primary concern to the financial community in evaluating young companies. These include: Management, Products, Proprietary Position, Markets and Financial Returns.
In order to foster the free enterprise system of the United States, laws regarding trade secret rights are structured to encourage fair business competition and stimulate businesses to invest time, money and effort to improve their competitive positions in in the marketplace. These trade secret laws are intended to protect businesses against the misappropriation of valuable confidential information acquired as a result of such investments. If the trade secrets of a business are misappropriated, the misappropriator faces potentially serious consequences. A court may enjoin the misappropriator from further use or disclosure of the trade secrets, and order the misappropriator to pay the trade secret owner money damages as compensation for their past use and/or disclosure. Punitive money damages may also be awarded if the wrongful use and/or disclosure was willful.
We've all worked with special customers in the past and hope to continue doing so in the future. This fellow is a cornerstone for our business, and it is therefore very important to know how to identify him, develop our relationships with him and keep his business coming into our shop. The following comments summarize some personal views on this subject.