In this simulation, students step into the role of President at Back Bay Battery, Inc., the battery division of a billion-dollar consumer electronics manufacturer. Students will have to apply strategic innovation thinking to sustain Back Bay Battery's leadership position in the market as new technologies emerge and the competitive landscape heats up.
After sifting through multiple sources of data and keeping a pulse on the industry, students will have to forecast next year's sales (an optional feature), decide on the unit prices and determine how to allocate their R&D investments across the product portfolio. They'll have to manage trade-offs between improving the company's core technology and investing in a new, potentially disruptive technology. This simulation is appropriate for students in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education courses specializing in strategic innovation, strategy, research and development, general management, entrepreneurship.
This third release combines the proven learning objectives and storyline of the previous version with a refreshed look and feel, multi-player mode, and additional customization options. This product was developed with the intention of meeting WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
Company: Harvard Business Publishing
Approximate price: $15
Playtime: 1 hour 30 mins
Learning objectives: 1. Disruptive innovations often don't meet the needs of a firm's top customers, but managers need to keep an eye on whether these innovations could potentially meet the needs of other customers.
2. Sometimes the best opportunity for a product is not visible early on, and it takes time to develop. Closely watching the market and building strategy in an emergent way is helpful in these circumstances.
3. Managers must carefully allocate R&D funds based on the evolution of a firm's strategy.
4. Meeting specific short-term financial targets can constrain a company's ability and willingness to innovate.
5. Managers are best positioned to invest in potentially disruptive innovation when the core business is healthy. They should always be thinking about how to make the new disruptive business profitable as quickly as possible.
Link to simulation home page: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/8873-HTM-ENG
I used the simulation to teach about disruptive change and competence destroying innovation. The simulation is easy to use for the students and fairly engaging. However, it is quite easy to game the simulation to get the maximum profits by simply investing in cost-cutting for the old technology--the implicit message is that investing in new technologies doesn't pay off.
There have also been some minor hiccups with a number of participants every year and although these can be worked out in the classroom, I dropped the simulation from my course now that it was over the Zoom.