Breakthrough products are essential to the sustainability of manufacturers. Yet, their success statistics is disturbing. Rather than trying to correlate project success with its characteristics — a familiar endeavor whose results are seldom used by industry, we present a paradox in product development and use it to drive an approach implemented in a suite of five tools for supporting critical product development decisions. Some of the tools have been tested in industry and some are taught to students. We anticipate that the evolution of such tools and their adoption by industry would improve the fate of breakthrough product development projects.

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