Have ideas to sell as well as ideas to develop a new product.
While economic growth has been a jobless growth in many countries, creating a start-up culture may offer some help.
Speaking to entrepreneurs, researchers and students recently in Lubbock, Sherwin Greenblatt, one of the first employees of the Bose Corporation and its former president enlightened the audience on how to take an idea and create a successful business out it. Texas Tech University (TTU) organized a week long, “Discoveries to Impact Week,” this month focusing to research translation. Lawrence Schovanec, president of the university emphasized the importance of research at undergraduate level highlighting the “Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (TrUE),” which is a new paradigm in learning and teaching at TTU.
In the innovation world, the translation of ideas from lab to reality is the toughest part which is often referred to as the “death valley.” In the personal experience of this scribe, ideas can be innovative and good, unless they are developed into a product for which the price is at the right mark, it often is a tough sail. This emphasizes the importance of good marketing strategy, “plan to sell.”
“We need ideas to sell as we need ideas to develop products,” stated Greenblatt-what a sage wisdom. Greenblatt’s view highlights the need to have a proper planning right from the scratch, for an entrepreneur who wants to develop an idea to a commercial product or license it from a research laboratory.
Greenblatt’s talk provided few tips that may be useful for any business. One should know the purpose of any venture, which will lead to the founding principle. Bose started the company with a simple but real purpose, which was to provide high quality acoustics so that people can enjoy. This vision has today translated into a company with over US$ 4 billion in sales with 10,000 employees. Attracting proper talent, who like what they do in addition to expertise is important.
An important advice was that one must balance the short- and long-term goals. This has been the case with Bose Company. While they were improving their acoustic products, there were selling power conversion devices using semiconductors. For start-ups, it is not possible to have all the expertise, so getting someone else to go some jobs is always important.
It is good to plan, and an understanding of the need and current market helps. In other words, product needs to be practical, which will be accepted by consumers.
Right product in right market at right price always helps. Having great ideas help but at the same time, ideas for marketing should also be developed right from the get-go.
Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA