Better Mousetraps

You’ve got an idea that excites you, on so many levels. You see the hole in the market for what you provide. You solve a problem. This is how an entrepreneur starts.

The pitfalls to getting from this starting idea to an ongoing, financially viable business are several.

Let’s begin with what I just said above.

Does your idea have an audience? A market? What is that market? How do you reach them? Can you reach them? What does it cost? Can you get your product not only made, but take it to the market at a price that the market will bear?

I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time a brilliant business person and a brilliant technology person got together and came up with a brilliant idea. They got a lot of money. They got a huge partner. They built a great product….except! Here is that pitfall.

They had not talked to their market first. And it turns out that the cost, the hard and soft cost, to their customer was too high.

They thought they solved an expensive problem. They did. But in the end, the solution cost too much because they did not understand how the customer was already solving the problem.

I came in after everything was ready. And I went to the market. I found out that the brilliant solution was never going to be adopted. I am the one that told the board. And that company shut down.

You must do your research.

Making a better mousetrap might seem like a great idea but if everyone has a cat and the cat not only gets rid of the mice, but the family loves the cat, your mousetrap will never succeed, even if it is a lot better than the cat at getting rid of mice.Because the family won’t get rid of the cat to get the mousetrap. The cat offers the

Because the family won’t get rid of the cat to get the mousetrap. The cat offers the family more.

Understanding your market means knowing there is a mouse problem, making a more efficient mousetrap, and being sure your market isn’t made up of a bunch of cat owners who love their cats.

It is that last bit that often gets ignored and it shuts down brilliant ideas and businesses more than you can imagine.

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