Test The Waters

The Lesson Learned

Ahmed's research played a key role in his success:

  • It helped him fine-tune his product so it had all the features the market wanted.
  • It helped create early support from medical professionals.
  • It helped him target a market with a high level of perceived need.
  • It helped him create an effective introduction plan for his product.

All totaled, Ahmed's research played the vital role of convincing him his invention had real sales potential and that the product was worth the time and money he'd have to invest to make it a success.

I've found time and time again that inventors move slowly on their product because they're not sure they truly have a marketable idea. If they'd follow Ahmed's lead and do early research, they'd know when they should drop their idea and when they should move full speed ahead on getting it to market.

Did Ahmed predict every possible glitch in his product and introduction plan? Of course not. But he did find and correct enough glitches to enable him to successfully launch his product.

It's not uncommon for product or marketing mistakes to cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 to remedy. So if you don't have deep pockets, follow Ahmed's example, and be sure you have a product the market wants before spending your hard-earned money.

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Test The Waters.

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