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The Complexity Flow: Combining complex projects and simpler projects

Simple or complex projects? They both have up and downsides. For that reason, we continuously try to strike a balance between the two in our project portfolio.

Running an invention studio like Lolle & Nielsen Inventions isn’t just about generating ideas a then run with them.

Our resources are limited like every other business, and for us, this means we have to strike a balance between complex and simpler projects.

It’s really a question about risk, and the projects at both ends of the complexity scale have their own set of benefits and disadvantages to the flow.

Both have pros and cons

Simpler projects are often lower risk, as it requires fewer resources from us and has a shorter time to market. But conceptually it can be just as easy to develop complex as simple projects.

The more complex project, however, has more fall pits during development because of their complex nature. With a solid feasibility study, this can be accounted for beforehand, which removes a lot of the risk. But even then, complex projects mean we have to bet a lot of our resources on a single project with a long time to market. This lowers the diversity in our project portfolio which inevitably represents a greater risk.

Complex projects do however also come with some benefits of their own. It’s easier to get early stage funding because of its higher complexity level. This also makes it easier to find partnerships around complex projects, because the IP is protectable.

The balance

The balance between project is really the key. If we throw ourselves at a lot of wildly complex projects at the same time, we will drown before the projects ever reach the market. On the other hand, we will have a hard time moving forward if we only bet on simpler products, as they rarely have the same potential for long-tail as more complex ones.

Right now, we are developing Ambitlocker and Conhoist which is both highly complex projects. Our expectations for them is huge, but there is still development to be done before we have done our job and we are ready to hand it over. This means we probably won't take on any more complex project right now.

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