99 of 100 potentially interesting ideas for products never will be a succes. This figure is not correct, of course, you cannot exactly define success, ‘interesting’ and ‘potentially’, but it is important to convey that almost all product development efforts fail. Politicians, clergymen and others not directly involved in the development combat are often believe that big companies have a high succes rate. They have the name, the power, the money, the knowledge (nobody knows exactly what that means) etc.. When working for the Dutch innovator Philips Electronics a major strategy director told me only one out of 25 world class technologies became a commercial succes. 1 out of 25, with all that topscientists, all that experience and all that money. Is it really so bad? It is. Do we need all that governmental money to stimulate entrepreneurship and highy tech innovations? We do, because otherwise virtually nothing would remain. Consequently, initially enthusiast development groups, product managers, financial managers, investors, inventors et al are frustrated. Only a short-sighted financial manager will be happy that the ‘spending’ of money is stopped.
A lot of knowhow, information, intelligence and expertise was gained in these projects. These are partly saved in the people’s brains and partly in reports, analyses, specifications, hardware prototypes etc., etc.. Sometimes it can be used in future projects but in most cases it is SHELVED, depreciated and never retrieved. What a waste! We treat knowledge gained as waste. Just like our society produces a lot of garbage waste, chemical waste etc. and did not want to think about it up to recent, our modern knowledge-based society produces intellectual waste. And we do not want to be clear about that. But we should; because its better for our people, planet and profit.
The Shelf is a project in which this knowledge is made publicly available by inviting businesses to trading it on the internet. A secure and safe website ‘shop’ will be constructed in which they can make their offers. We look for businesses that are interested to participate. A more extensive description of the Shelf concept will be available in the shop for those who register.