Kittyhawk is 1.3-inch hard-drive disk that HP trying to put up to the new market. HP tries to target a new market and earning profitable revenue from it. Even though the idea of this project is clever but the project failed in the end. The start of the Kittyhawk actually goes well. It has the support from the senior management. HP set up a special group which focus on the project to distinction from the main products that HP already had and the group separate from the company which give them freedom to develop the hard drive. They try to control their product in a time manner because they understand the technology change fast and once it change. It might lead to the failure of their product.
Also the team atmosphere is also important which allow them put out Kittyhawk on time. The team work hard to achieve their goal and they did actually put on many different innovations such as the glass disk substrate, the drive need less power which compare to other drive is much more lighter. HP put lot of effort on this project in order to find other potential markets. The idea is good but still this project failed in the end because of several reasons.
There are several factors led it failed including not understand their potential customer, disruptive technology need time for their market and setting their goals for their disruptive technology. The Kittyhawk team did not found the right customer for their product. It’s a bad decision that they didn’t check the desktop and notebook computer sections of the show but went straight forward for mobile computing. Because of their product is a new technology at the time, it’s hard to know what customer need and when is the right time for the market.
I also think that they didn’t hold their opportunity with Nintendo which might have lead them success. Because what Nintendo wants is what the original strategy for Kittyhawk which is “a cheap, small disk drive.” Instead of going after Nintendo, they choose to go for an upper market of PDA. In the end, the PDA division chose another substitute device because of the price issue. Their customers turned to be unexpected customers such as Japanese company, manufacture of cash registers and camera. Apparently, the customer was very different from the original target customer.
Also when it comes to disruptive technology, it’s hard to say that when is the best time to launch the new product. It might need more time for market to adapt it. The existing customer might adapt it faster than the new customer. But after all, most customers would need time to see if this disruptive technology would meet their need.
It’s always a need to set a goal for a new project but when it comes to disruptive technology, it’s hard to set the perfect goal for it. Without knowing what their product will be and not understanding who’s their customers, the team set of a goal for of earned $100 million revenue in two years and to achieve revenue growth of 35%. The Kittyhawk team should just follow their original goal and try to attract customer as much as they can and change their product base with the market need. But because of having to achieve earned $100 million revenue and revenue growth of 35%, they have to make new technology to reach the goal. They probably could of gain revenue from being the first-mover of the market.
In my opinion, the Kittyhawk team should know where their customers are and what is their customers’ need. (Christensen, 1994). Next is set the goal right. Specially, when trying to launch a disruptive technology, it’s hard to know when to meet the market and where are the customers. And even though putting up a good product to the market doesn’t usually mean success in the market. So never set a goal too unrealistic which might bring to the failure of the product. So when it comes to setting goal, don’t set unrealistic such as growth rate, revenue.
But leave time and also budget for disruptive technological because it’s the most important things that it need. Do risk analysis and make sure you know how big is the market. Even though market research for new product might suffer from problems of uncertainty and might not be reliable. But without it, it would be more difficult to success. Moreover, Kittyhawk team should be more flexible to deal with the change of need from customer. Since technology world is too unpredictable and changeable all the time, the Kittyhawk team should change with it in order to success. The team should have changeable plan. Finally, the most important is use current resources from own company, finding the advantages of company, then make the best use of them and create an valuable product which is suitable for the market.