New product ideation might be improved by identifying and applying certain well-defined schemes derived from an historical analysis of product-based trends, termed "templates." These templates might contribute to the understanding and prediction of new product emergence. The authors derive templates in a study that maps the evolution of product changes by adapting a set of intrinsic operations originally designed to uncover hidden logical patterns in technological inventions. They find that the majority of new product versions can be accounted for by as few as five templates. The authors define the five templates and show that they derive from six elementary (first principle) operators. A procedure for using the dominant template, termed "Attribute Dependency," is outlined, followed by a report of two experiments examining its usefulness in the contest of product ideation.
Goldenberg, Jacob, David Mazursky, and Sorin Solomon. "Toward Identifying the Inventive Templates of New Products: A Channeled Ideation Approach." Journal of Marketing Research 36, no. 2 (May 1999): 200-210.
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