“Customers buy products, not technology, science, or research findings.” – Guy Kawasaki

I work a lot with scientists and researchers.  They are very smart and work really hard following their passions.  They spend years proving their theories.  The end game is publishing the results which releases their discovery to the world. A brave few dare to ask the question, “Can we make this a business?”

I don’t have a job if these researchers don’t ask this question.  But as soon as they do, we have to have a deep discussion about value.  To the inventor, value is derived by their personal investment of time and treasure.  They have proven something new is possible and they invested in patents to protect it.  They have every right to believe that.  But the brutal reality is the value they created is validated only by them and their peers.  In order to have a business, you have to have a customer.  Once you file the paperwork with the state to open the business, it’s the customer who determines value.

It’s a harsh reality when investors pass on an investment in a technology that took years to develop.  It’s because they can’t see a pathway from the research to a profitable business.  In other words, it has no value.  It’s even worse to release a great product no one wants to buy because it’s too expensive or too complicated.  It has no value.

Value comes from solving a problem at a price a customer is willing to pay.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

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