• Juan Miguel Muñoz Peñas

Let's catch up!

“Let’s catch up” was the first expression my friend Antonio told me before I started to tell him the news. “Hey, that's exactly what I was going to talk about .... CATCH”, I replied. Antonio was really surprised and asked me, “What is CATCH?” with laughs and confusion; we began to talk with a cup of coffee in hand. I told him the reasons why I am passionate about this project, the challenges I have, the impressions and what I have worked on until now.

Antonio has been a close friend of mine for a long time and together we have done many common things. We were in the same university residence while studying industrial engineering, he was the one who encouraged me to move to Austria for two years, and together we applied for our MBA. We have always shared a motivation of working for something that contributes to society, something that involves people and today he was interested in knowing more details to really understand what I'm working on.

How can I explain in a sentence what I have learned so far?

"The world has never been so interconnected, there are huge opportunities for interaction and interaction is a powerful tool for aligning goals"

It can be applied within the personal context as I explain below in the business world. This was the topic of the day and now I will share it with you as readers. During the conversation, I tried to clarify to Antonio that the purpose of this project, which forms part of the CATCH (Cancer: Activating Technology in Connected Health), is to have a broader vision of how can stakeholder interactions influence commercialization of service innovation. There is a crucial correlation between service innovation, commercialization and stakeholder interaction. But let’s start from the early beginning.

Why service innovation is relevant in business?

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”

Steve Jobs

We can clearly see it around us, especially in the last years there are more and more services. Service innovation often provides differentiation, which is important for private firms to distinguish themselves from competitors and commercialize successfully (Athaide 1996). Nowadays business cycles go incredibly fast, companies achieve success and disappear quickly. There are no consolidated companies that do not need innovation to maintain their competitiveness and there are many cases in which large companies have lost important leadership in a brief time. The main reason for this speed is the development of Communication technologies (ICTs), which are facilitating new opportunities for service innovation (Barrett et al. 2015), where new perspectives and opportunities are opened for firms and organizations (Witell et al. 2016)

Importance of commercialization in service innovation?

In service innovation, commercialization is central and crucial to success. If it is not accepted by the market and if it does not get commercialized, then we are not talking about service innovation. It would be something new, but without adding value to society it would be simply an invention.

Therefore, we must take into consideration the commercialization from the beginning, because if there is no success in the commercialization, there is no innovation and the Firms live and die depending on their ability to successfully bring innovations to market.

There are many companies, especially Spin-off, that are very good at generating the idea and developing it, but they have no experience in getting the product into the market. But there are other types of paths, because when we speak about successful commercialization, it includes retaining ownership of the innovation and bringing it to market, sharing it by licensing or developing it with partners or by selling it. The strategic choice of one of the above options (ownership, license or partnership) depends on the level of feasibility and potential of the innovation and the presence of capabilities for commercialization in the firm (Datta & Reed 2012).

How important are the stakeholders?

In general, customers, users, distributors, suppliers, investors, associations, public organizations, policymakers and regulators can support commercialization by performing practical commercialization tasks, facilitating innovation adoption/diffusion and creating market (Aarikka-Stenroos et al. 2014). Stakeholders also could support in contributing resources to commercialize incremental and radical innovations (Partanen et al. 2014), but the time variable is also crucial in relation to the importance of the early interaction between stakeholders for success (Munksgaard et al. 2016).

The success of service innovation depends critically on its commercialization (Datta & Reed 2012). On the other hand, for the success in the commercialization, it is decisive the way in which the network is managed with the stakeholders (Aarikka-Stenroos et al. 2014; Munksgaard et al. 2016). Therefore, stakeholder interaction, commercialization and service innovation are notably correlated.

Therefore, as I told Antonio at the beginning:

"The world has never been so interconnected, there are huge opportunities for interaction and interaction is a powerful tool for aligning goals"

I am at the beginning of this exciting journey, I have much to investigate, to live and to experience. It is the first stop on the road, a stop that I took to “catch up”, let's drive forward on the way! and I will keep you informed about the trip.


Aarikka-Stenroos, L. & Lehtimäki, T., 2014. Commercializing a radical innovation: Probing the way to the market. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(8), pp.1372–1384. Available at:

Athaide, G.A., 1996. Seller-Byer Interactions During the Commercialization of Technological Process Innovations.

Barrett, M., Davidson, E. & Vargo, S.L., 2015. S ERVICE I NNOVATION IN THE D IGITAL A GE : K EY C ONTRIBUTIONS AND F UTURE D IRECTIONS. , 39(1), pp.135–154.

Datta, A. & Reed, R., 2012. Factors Affecting the Governance of Innovation Commercialization : A Theoretical Model. Journal of Business and Management – Vol. 18, No. 1, 2012, pp.31–60.

Munksgaard, K.B. et al., 2016. What ’ s in it for me : Firms strategizing for public-private innovation.

Partanen, J., Chetty, S.K. & Rajala, A., 2014. Innovation types and network relationships. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 38(5), pp.1027–1055.

Witell, L. et al., 2016. Defining service innovation: A review and synthesis. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), pp.2863–2872.

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