Due North

The Intersection of How and What


If the goal is to successfully move innovation out of the lab and into the world, it’s critical for innovators to look beyond how technology works and give equal consideration to what it actually does. At this intersection of how and what is where we find successful commercialization.

Consider this:

When buying something new most people don’t think about how a product actually works instead they focus on what they can do with it. For example, the average Apple user can most certainly tell you that the iPhone 6 offers better photo quality than the iPhone 5. Rarely do you hear these same consumers talk about pixel focus or the evolution from front-side to back-side illumination – some of the technology that makes it all possible.

It’s not that these things don’t matter or that they’re not important and it’s not that people don’t have the ability to understand or care about the engineering involved. Rather, it’s that the market is focused on outcomes, in this case, a great photography experience.

Companies like Apple understand their users. Apple is well known for leveraging innovation to meet their customers’ needs. It isn’t the only company capable of figuring out how to use technology to give their customers what they want. Targeting the intersection of how and what is a strategy that can be implemented by anyone on the path from Sketch to Launch.

That how-what intersection is imperative when introducing emerging medical technologies. Scientific breakthroughs are astounding in their own right. However, moving discoveries from research into clinical practice requires both technical discipline and an aptitude for identifying users’ needs. True opportunity exists where these things converge. At Due North, that opportunity is about more than creating a successful business, it’s about using advances in science to improve patient care.