Educating Your Market: The Problem With New Inventions
Our Guest Blogger, Donna Pacheco, has a strong interest in entrepreneurial ventures. New technologies excite her and she enjoys speculating on how they can revolutionize the way things are in a particular industry. She wanted to share her tips for being a successful enterpreneur with the readers of InventorSpot.com.
Here's her article:
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New inventions are difficult to market. Why? Because despite its many features designed to help the average Joe, in reality, you will always have to educate your target audience for your invention. This happens when you are selling a product that is completely alien to most people.
Take the wheel, for example.
No one knows for sure when it was invented, but it would be safe that say that before this, people carried their goods. Like all new inventions, the wheel when it first appeared was some kind of novelty. In fact, if you tried convincing anyone the benefits of the wheel (no matter how obvious) during that time, they'd probably think you were crazy. You'd convince some early adopters, but for the rest, it's new technology.
But as always, there were some few passionate believers who saw that this new technology could change the world and were "crazy" enough to educate the market. These were the inventors and took risks to make believers out of people. Fortunate enough for them, there were some early adopters. Whoever invented this must have made a fortune! Ka-ching!
Like the wheel, new technologies require extensive education of the market. The successful inventor/entrepreneur because he believes in his product and is completely convinced of the opportunity will do something about it. Most of the time, it will take a massive marketing effort to make people understand how the product can benefit them.
Maybe the guy who invented the wheel distributed free models to test? Who knows?
Educating the market, however, is not as simple as it sounds. In fact, it is deceptively easy. Entrepreneurs are quick to put this in their business plan with a couple of months as their timetable soon find, to their utter dismay that building the market can take two years to a decade.
What is far worse is that sometimes, even if you are the first to enter--even if you've spent a lifetime working is the fact that it is the second entrant who reaps all the benefits. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had the vision for Apple, but it was the Bill Gates who was able to make it a reality through Microsoft. Apple is making a huge comeback now though, but that's beside the point.
Being the first doesn't always guarantee that you win. I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm just putting a realistic spin on the usual dream that ends with the inventor being a multi-millionaire with smiling happy people thanking him. It can happen.
Future posts will give you some ways to ensure it does. Results not guaranteed. But I'd rather you jump out of a plane with a parachute than nothing on. At the very least, you'll still be alive when you hit the ground.