“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.”David Ogilvy

You and I have both heard this many times, but it’s essential to realize that an innovative idea is worthless without application. An innovative idea will remain just an idea without a business case.

One of the more popular shows on television is “Shark Tank.” The concept of the show is a group of wealthy entrepreneurs is presented (sometimes very badly) with innovative ideas for a new business. Of course, the show is overly dramatic, but a key lesson is to have your business case well understood before you step on the stage. There are many good ideas presented, but often the new entrepreneurs don’t receive funding because they don’t have a solid growth plan.

It’s important to separate the creation of an innovative product from the development of that product. During the creation and brainstorming sessions we discussed in the last blog, it’s important to minimize criticism of ideas. This allows new ones to flow. It’s also important to prioritize and build an initial business plan on the winning ideas. Imagine if you were one of the presenters on “Shark Tank” and were asked the critical questions the investors pose. Those questions are often:

  • What is the sales potential of this idea?
  • Is this idea protectable?
  • Can this idea be produced economically?
  • How does the price compare to the market?
  • Is the price margin sustainable?
  • Who will buy this product?

Once you have an in-depth understanding of the answers to these questions, you can truly prioritize your ideas for commercialization. It’s been analyzed that more than 90 percent of the patents in the U.S. patent office are not ever produced. This adds more proof for the need to have a thorough understanding of the business case before declaring victory on innovative ideas!

If you have any questions on the concepts here, feel free to contact me at raygarries@gmail.com and see the latest from Fenestration Innovation Network on LinkedIn.

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