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Producing a prototype for less

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This story appears in the January 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Like most of us, Jorge Lahens has had several ideas for new products--but, he admits, "I never really did anything with them." Until he hit 30, that is. Tired of spending all his time working for someone else, the electrical engineer decided it was finally time to make a move. So when his brother came up with an idea for a pleasant-smelling tab to attach to pet collars, Lahens jumped on the idea.

From personal experience, the Union City, New Jersey, man had learned that having a "million-dollar idea" is only the first step in getting a product to market. As a new-product marketer myself, I've found that 10 percent of the work involved in developing a successful invention is coming up with a new idea; 40 percent is executing the idea so it will sell; and 50 percent is marketing the product. Lahens' efforts to "get the product right" demonstrate the hard work necessary to create a marketable product.

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