July 16, 2010, Friday, Otago Innovation Seminar Series,
CFI – Centre for Innovation
Speaker: Peter Foster from Symansis.
Spent 9 years in research area in Lincoln, UK (postdoc). Then 30 years in the industry, doing R&D.
- Good idea must meet a well defined market need.
- Good project design and project scheduling.
- Make sure you have IP protected (you have to lock a market niche).
- Be prepare to fail. Fail early, cancel projects early. Not all projects succeed.
There were a number of challenging questions that Peter posed and tried to answer. Among others:
- Are you ready to fail? Can you survive initial failure? How long can you carry on without external funding?
- How can you access available market? Market channels? Distributors? How to reach your customers?
- Questions: direct sales or distributors? Own label or white-label?
- Novel products require you to think about educating the users, and prospective users. Make sure the current users write about their use and experience to others. This is very important. Try to encourage them to publish about your product.
Developing a product that hits the market is a huge step, big leap from having “just” a prototype.