This weekend, I read the newest (Jan 2012) issue of Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM). One of the headlines, “Grumpier Old Men”, caught my eye. The article describes the phenomenon that new services consistently get lower ratings from middle-aged men (as compared to other age and sex groups). Even though the research is limited to the motion picture segment, the authors suggest a number of useful practical consequences for making sure that customer panels, focus groups, and other early user feedback mechanisms are properly composed.
In addition, they suggest that portfolio reviews where new ideas and project proposals are selected may be influenced. Going tought he composition of these boards from my personal reference, I see a heavy bias towards middle-aged male senior management. This makes me think about the decision making process and whether we may be killing too many ideas too soon.
What does your portfolio board look like?
Here’s the link to the article abstract on the JPIM site: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00880.x/abstract