Margot Sandy, Industry Expert

Over the last several months, I have had the pleasure of speaking at several conferences around the world: iCAN Innovation Competition in Toronto, Canada, the South Africa Innovation Summit in Cape Town, South Africa and the Innovation Summit in Cairo, Egypt. The one thing that stood out meeting these inventors from across the globe was that everyone was curious, everyone wanted to create and everyone whether they knew it or not was trying to solve a problem.

I met inventors of all ages, ethnicities, genders and all with some type of idea. Some would greet you with “This idea is going to change the world” and a confidence that was sometimes off-putting. Others simply wanted validation for what they had created.
Nevertheless, in every case, the next question(s) came with intense senses of urgency. The questions were: What do I do next? Should I get an investor? Where do I find an investor? Do I get a manufacturer? Where do I find a manufacturer?

These questions are great and they are ones that should be asked by each inventor. However, the problems inventors tend to run into is that feeling of “I’m running out of time”,” someone is going to get to the market before I do” and “I must act right now”.

Unfortunately, this type of impatience is what often kills a product. Yes, time is of the essence, but making a quick wrong decision will not get you closer to your goal. Be patient. If your product is good and you have done the research (i.e., there is a space in the market for what you have to offer) then you can afford the time to get it right. You are most likely ahead of your competition.

Plan for a future with your product or brand. Take a step back. Ask questions of others who have done it before. Seek out experts in the field. A simple email asking for advice from a professional can get you far. They can only say “yes” or “no” to having a conversation with you.

Mistakes are inevitable, especially when you are creating something that has never been done before. Stay the course and be patient. This is the fun part of New Product Development. There is no one way to do anything (no matter what the Internet says). Craft your product / your value. Craft your story / why people will buy what you have created. Craft your expertise in knowing the competition and what you are providing.

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