I came across a Grade 8 student who produced a solar air heater using basic materials. The solar air heater will be presented at a science and technology competition in 2015. Something like this solar air heater is a project that more students at schools should be looking at because it teaches them about solutions for the environment, technology as well as starts to build basic entrepreneurial thinking.
Although the student didn’t say that he intends to commercialise his prototype solar heater, this is where the big crunch comes in taking a mere idea and turning it into a tangible product. It’s all very well coming up with an idea and hats off to those who do but commercialisation is a tricky area. This is where ideas are separated into categories of those that succeed and those that fail.
Did you know that over 90% of new products fail? These are not always new products from a person who works in the garage, study or shed but includes the giant food manufacturers, for instance, who launch new products each and every year and some fail horribly. The reason you don’t hear about these failures is that their new products are quietly taken off supermarket shelves and nothing more is seen or heard about them.
So what then about the person who might be a corporate refugee or someone who may want to come up with something from scratch as a ticket out of the present employment imprisonment? How then with no prior knowledge or experience are they going to come up with a new idea and turn it into a commercial product?
Let me state at the outset that there are some entrepreneurs who come up with a new business idea, go through the steps of commercialising it and succeed. They have succeeded because they have been careful and deliberate about testing their product before they release it into the market. Also important: meeting basic product quality standards, paying special attention to the design which in itself these days provides a major competitive edge to a new product, ensuring its ease of use and finding a business model that provides the product or service at a reasonable price to potential customers.
This is not something that you can learn overnight from an e-book.
Commercialisation requires experience and strong knowledge of business and marketing. You also need to know something about product type development as well as the legal issues about intellectual property such as copyright, trademarks and patents.
If you have a promising business idea, how then do you get up to speed with turning it from a mere idea or concept into a tangible, viable product or service?
You may be able if you are lucky to find a business adviser or mentor or who can advise you from your first-phase prototype product development right through to your third-phase business model generation and testing.
Even if you do use a business coach or adviser, you may still want to know what it takes to come up with new business ideas and how to commercialise them.
If you’re interested, you may want to at no obligation put your name down for my forthcoming book “Breakthrough Ideas”. It provides no guarantee for success, that has to come from you. It shows you some smart ways to go about taking your idea and commercialising it and even offers you some shortcuts but it’s not for those who can’t lift their butts off the chair, roll up their sleeves and do the hard work that is required.