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Create Value -- Not Just Buzz -- For Your Customers

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This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As an active investor in agricultural technology, I hear pitches from startups that have found ways to make crops bigger, stronger and more resistant to pests, usually through some proprietary formula or advanced biotechnology. 

REUTERS | Mike Segar

I always challenge these folks with a little drill. I tell them there is an item on the table that can do the exact same thing, and I point to my glass of water. I explain that more water can make plants bigger, stronger and more resistant to pests; more fertilizer can, too. But farmers don’t use excessive water and fertilizer because of well-known diminishing returns.

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