While there is an extensive literature which deals with the subject of new product development, very little reference is made to the launch or commercialisation phase. Similarly, most texts on marketing management appear to assume that products are already established in a market, and so focus upon the manipulation of the marketing mix. It is the thesis of this paper that the market launch or development phase is critical to the overall success of a new product, as delays in penetrating a market may become such a drain on corporate resources that the product will be withdrawn as a failure. Based upon an extensive programme of empirical research over the last ten years, a number of case histories are presented which demonstrate that in the case of technology push innovations an ability to pre-identify the most receptive market segment is critical to success. The cases also show that innovators are often notably inept at identifying the most likely customers for a new product and provide insights into why this is so and, thereby, guidelines for overcoming this deficiency.