Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

Spiral Development

A recursive, cyclical new product development process involving interaction between basic research, product development, manufacturing, and sales and distribution.

This approach is enabled by the relatively long-term perspectives and flexible internal labour markets of Japanese companies.

Example: Toshiba began to investigate Japanese language word-processors. Its initial product failed but they invested in more basic research and in the meantime technology development allowed them to produce a new product. As the product was too large, it was sent back to research – which employed newly developed chip technology, and later thermal printing LCD displays to create an attractive product. From this success they continued into voice recognition research.

Source: Tatsuno, S. (1990). Created in Japan: from imitators to world-class innovators.