Product developers continue to be plagued by the high incidence of new product failure. This monograph presents the results of a two‐phase empirical study designed to shed some light on approaches which might improve the process.Phase I focuses on a large sample of such failures and reveals that industrial product firms suffer from an inward orientation. The main reasons for failure were found to be a lack of understanding of customers, competition and the market environment. A review of the many activities involved on the new product process showed that market oriented activities consistently fared the worst when compared to technical, production and financial evaluation. Finally, a lack of marketing research personnel and skills was thought to have contributed more to industrial product failure than any other resource deficiency.Phase II of the research presents three case histories of exceptionally successful and well‐executed industrial new product ventures. They reveal that the development of new products is a sequential and goal‐oriented process, each stage involving information acquisition activity followed by evaluation and decision. Incremental commitment is identified as an effective route to risk reduction. The case histories demonstrate that market orientation in industrial product development is not only feasible but highly desirable.