Super advice from a Super Expert on innovation and product development

innovation Mar 29, 2018

Interview with Sylvain Revuz
Product innovation, team building for sustainable growth at Altyor Group

An engineer by his trade, Sylvain spent over a decade in Asia developing ultra-competitive products and services applying value engineering, agile, and lean methods. He has experience in cost engineering, product line rationalization, the total cost of ownership analysis, strategic sourcing, and outsourcing as well.

Finally, he is an expert in quality improvement of existing products such as Six Sigma, products and processes re-engineering, outsourcing, and insourcing.

Sylvain is a real super-expert when it comes to creating something that is not only functional but also cost-effective and competitive in any market. asked him about his specialty field, IoT products, and intelligent transportation systems as well as how to build something that is competitive and functional.

What exactly IoT products are?

IoT means the Internet of things, and it is a network of physical devices, home appliances, vehicles, and other various items embedded with software, sensors, electronics. Connectivity enables these objects to connect and exchange data.

Each product can inter-operate within the existing infrastructure via the Internet.
Although this sounds relatively complicated, the primary focus of IoT products is that all of them help to sense various changes in the surrounding circumstances and environment. These changes can be things like logging battery life, weather conditions, temperature, humidity, or even oxygen level.

Through IoT products, we can have a better understanding of the development of the product as well.

Is there a difference between what countries you are creating a product?

Certainly. Initially, I was working on various projects for EU countries out of France, and one of the main reasons I ended up coming to Asia was that we needed to understand the local product specifications better. I worked in Japan, Korea, and China when we needed to adapt a couple of products to the local market. We realized that if we wanted to compete with Chinese products, we needed someone on the market and we established an R&D Center in Hong Kong. With strong government support, we worked closely together on more than 50 different, mostly cloud-based products.


At any point did you find difficult to embrace the business side of your work as an engineer?

Absolutely. It is important to recognize that engineers don't learn the business at the university and they only understand one part of the creation/ production process but not the whole picture. Because I was driven and interested, I decided to learn more and completed my MBA studies at the prestigious Macquarie School of Management in Sydney.

I recommend to creators to recognize what fields they have a strong knowledge and understanding about and where they are better off relying on other's expertise.

You've worked with intelligent transportation system as a business manager? What exactly that means?

It was an exciting project connecting Italian and French transportation data with the governments' help to establish s 'smart city system.' It combined information, crossing multiple countries and offered real-time support, including weather, events, traffic intelligence, car park updates, hospitals, forecast agencies, school and research centers.

Exchange and personalize data, connect through a sophisticated Internet platform. Much like IoT products but in a very waste and extensive form. To develop a product from scratch, you have to have a strong technical side; sound market knowledge and understand competitors too.

What are Ultra-Competitive products and services?

Competitiveness can be gained through understanding and encapturing data through the system they use such as WeChat.

Through collect, real-time information businesses can analyze how the company is doing and where they operate inefficiently (or of course efficiently).
These products help to increase service quality, adapt in real time to the condition and help to make sense of sales transactions and customer behavior in real time.


What do you suggest to creators when it comes to creating products:

  1. Have an idea about the efficiency and effectiveness of your product including design, security, quality, and competitiveness. You have to have a clear plan and structure for your product development.
  2. You need to understand how the device you are creating can bring more insight into your business.
  3. Be clear about your unique value proposition:
  • Can you do cheaper than your competitors?
  • Is it possible to offer functionality that others don’t?
  • What kind of benefits or solutions the device provides?

Through collecting information how the customer uses a device, you can anticipate, manage, and analyze the data, and understand the value proposition.

  1. Check the competition - Decide how to stand out!
  • If a device already exists, what makes yours different from that. It is important to acknowledge that there are cases when a product is indeed on the market already. However, the other brand focuses on a different selling point, hence no competition is created towards each other.
  1. Ensure you understand where and what value you are offering with your product.
    Where is the innovation? Is it in the data or the device?
    I find that there is one, excellent way to go is to lock-in your customers like Apple did. Once you purchase an Apple computer or an iPhone, most likely you will keep buying the same brand as well as attempt to align the rest of your electric devices with Apple too.

  2. Be realistic about the price. Engineers and technical developers don't necessarily know how much the overall cost of product development is. They only know the cost of manufacturing, but most likely nothing about margins and supporting services.

  3. Product development cost isn't only the cost production, but it also contains all the supporting tools. When you create something new or re-create an existing product, you need to consider the entire road to market including branding, sales, marketing, and distribution. When products are complicated, the cost, of course, is higher.

Sylvain is a super expert in innovation, IOT products, product development and Eastern & Western business relations


Hubbers Team

co-writing stories about Hubbers creators, experts and investors co-building a better tomorrow.

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