Commodity Eats Innovation for Breakfast: A Model for Differentiating Feature Realization

  • Aleksander FabijanEmail author
  • Helena Holmström Olsson
  • Jan Bosch
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10027)


Once supporting the electrical and mechanical functionality, software today became the main competitive advantage in products. However, in the companies that we study, the way in which software features are developed still reflects the traditional ‘requirements over the wall’ approach. As a consequence, individual departments prioritize what they believe is the most important and are unable to identify which features are regularly used – ‘flow’, there to be bought – ‘wow’, differentiating and that add value to customers, or which are regarded commodity. In this paper, and based on case study research in three large software-intensive companies, we (1) provide empirical evidence that companies do not distinguish between different types of features, which causes poor allocation of R&D efforts and suppresses innovation, and (2) develop a model in which we depict the activities for differentiating and working with different types of features and stakeholders.


Customer feedback Innovation Commodity Wow feature Flow feature Duty feature Checkbox feature 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksander Fabijan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helena Holmström Olsson
    • 1
  • Jan Bosch
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Technology and SocietyMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden

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