Key question to answer in Activity Stage 2: What is the breadth of potential applications for the intended free Software output outside the targeted field, and what must be known about them?
Define intended project outcome of development effort in the context of a technology-related innovation embodied in a software application or Do-It-Yourself instructions, accompanied by the requirements to download, access and use it.
Gather input from key stakeholders to assess value (business, market and technical) regarding the envisioned free sofware application. This may involve a mock ups, story boards or wireframe models. To the extent it is relevant to future deployment, consider protecting core software operations through a registered copyright.
Protecting Intellectual Property (copyright for software or DIY instructions) preserves the creator's rights as much as it controls the rights of others to use it. Although it is intended to be free, the valuability assessments determine if it is worth doing at all.
Conduct a preliminary SLOT analysis (strengths, limitations, opportunities, threats) of the envisioned project, with input from key stakeholders, to identify potential barriers and facilitators to achieving delivered deliverable. All monetary aspects — from financing the project, to the cost of producing the product, and the eventual selling price — are critical issues.
Key question: Is the envisioned Freeware disruptive to current standard operating procedures or processes?
Project leader must now re-assess if envisioned project output and path to eventual Freeware outcomes are still considered innovative (i.e., novel, feasible, useful) in light of results from objective valuability assessments and SLOT analysis. If the decision is to continue, the project leader must next assess if the existing state of scientific knowledge is sufficient to conduct the project, or if it requires the generation of new to the world scientific knowledge. The answer will determine the full range of activity required in Stage 3 to complete the project's Research Phase.
Note: The NtK Model for Freeware contains Stages, Steps and Gates that may vary across the five sub-categories, as described in the five columns below.
|Freeware||Fee App||Freemium/>$5||Free DIY||Fee DIY/Training|
|May only need to implement the initial offering sufficient to satisfy the funder's requirements||Internal development plus commercial feasibility analysis required||Internal development plus commercial feasibility analysis required||May only need to implement the initial offering sufficient to satisfy the funder's requirements||Internal development plus commercial feasibility analysis required|