Heilmeier’s Catechism

Just a reminder to the startup community to think about Heilmeier’s catechism when creating products or solutions.

George H. Heilmeier is credited for asking a set of very basic questions that anyone proposing a research project or product development effort should be able to answer.

Here are the questions:

  • What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  • How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  • What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  • Who cares?
  • If you’re successful, what difference will it make?
  • What are the risks and the payoffs?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success?

Deceptively simple, yet fundamental.

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