20/20 Foresight

Six Years To Success

Though he struggled for six years against seemingly impossible odds, Prichard believed in his ideas and never doubted that his product would be perfect for the market once it was ready. Here is a breakdown of the trials and tribulations he endured and the way his vision "saved" him:

Year One. "I financed this entire year from my savings," Prichard says. "At the end of the year I had some cardboard models and a plan." He also had some foretelling stories about future technology. "I talked to a lot of people and most couldn't see my vision at all. But every now and then I found someone who understood my vision and believed in me."

Year Two. "I received some financing but was still working without a salary," Prichard says. It was a tough year, with Prichard running low on resources but nonetheless managing to put together some working models and demonstrate his vision.

Years Three and Four. Prichard spent these years further developing the product, deciding what markets to focus on and setting up a plan for launching the product. He finally raised enough money to start taking a salary.

Years Five and Six. Prichard started to pre-sell his product through press releases, attending trade shows and via his connection with Ingram-Micro and Tech Data, distributors for his vertical markets. In addition, Prichard worked to finalize production details and lined up financing to produce his initial production run and launch the Qbe.

Year Seven. With the Qbe well-established, Prichard turned his attention toward the consumer market-place. He created a smaller, lighter version of the Qbe designed specifically for everyday use. This competitively priced model will be made available in October. Furthermore, Aqcess recently reduced the price of its Qbe Cirrus model to $2,999.

Show them what you're made of-read "Do The Hustle" and get your product to market.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 20/20 Foresight.

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