Industry analyzed: Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
Technologies considered: Storage capacity, No. of tuners, software
COMPOSITION OF S-CURVE:
• R&D expenses are assumed to be the best representation of effort.
• R&D expenses of TiVo are assumed to be parallel to industry R&D expenses.
• Performance of DVR product, including three primary technologies: Software, storage capacity, and no. of tuners, are measured in the first graph.
• Significance of the three components is weighted as: Software (50%), storage capacity (30%), and no. of tuners (20%).
• Information is collected on the progress of each component and translated into a 1 to 10 point system for each year (1998~2008).
• Using the weights and points, a total progress score is calculated for each year.
• Similar to Foster’s S-curve tool, progress in the initial stages of product development is relatively minimal. Subsequently, progress becomes exponential.
• The S-Curve of the DVR technology closely mirrors that Foster’s presented S-curve. Just as Foster’s pocket watch example, there is a practical limit to what DVR consumers value with respect to hard drive capacity, no. of tuners, and etc., thus halting investment and effort toward furthering and improving the technology. This is in line with Foster’s assertion.
• Software development of DVR may not seem to follow Foster’s theory. However, experience with similar technology in the past may have helped speed up the initial phases of development, facilitating the acceptance of a dominant design.
• The curve of storage capacity progress very closely mirrors a typical S-curve. Capacity could technically continue to improve but there is diminishing utility to the customer and they are not willing to pay for these incremental improvements.
• The curve representing number of tuners may not appear to follow a typical S-curve,...