Do you suffer from “Product Goggles”?

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Step Away from the GogglesProduct-Goggles-300x220

“Beer goggles” is a slang terms for a phenomenon in which consumption of alcohol lowers sexual inhibitions to the point that very little or no discretion is used when approaching or choosing sexual partners.

The terms are often humorously applied when an individual is observed making advances towards, later regretting sexual contact with, a partner that is deemed unattractive, unacceptably scandalous, or repulsive when the prospect of sex is considered while sober. The “beer goggles” are considered to have distorted the wearer’s vision, making unattractive people appear beautiful, or at least passably attractive.

Unfortunately, inventors and product developers often suffer from a similar condition that I’ll coin as “product goggles”. In a similar way to “beer goggles”, these “product goggles” distort the wearer’s vision of their great new idea or invention. The wearer sees the world only through their invention and overlooks the market need for their revolutionary new product. The fact that the product looks good and works exactly as planned is meaningless if no-one wants, needs it or even worse can’t understand it.

I work with scientists, inventors and researchers on a daily basis. Most have developed their products and inventions through years of excruciating, expensive and sheer hard work. They get close to the end of development, which is actually the beginning of commercialisation and then start looking for market opportunities. By then it’s just too late. It’s only when sitting in front of a potential investor or buyer that they trip up. I hear them say things like “this is the best, most advanced “widget” of it’s kind, of course there’s a market for it”. Sometimes they say “I have done extensive research and the world is in dire need of the most efficient “widget” ever produced.

Sadly, what investors and buyers really want to hear is that the product is easy to understand, has a huge potential niche market that is easy to reach and that the product can’t be copied too easily. The product guys have been in the trenches or the laboratories too long, most have taken a frightful beating on the way and they see can only the world through their product.

So my advice to all you innovators, product developers and entrepreneurs out there is simply remove those “product goggles”, take a step back and assess the product from a market perspective using the age old features, advantages and benefits test. If you can’t put something tangible under each of these headings, you might want to reconsider things and go for “beer goggles” instead.

Are you guilty of looking through “product goggles”? Are you looking for investors? Are you an investor tired of dealing with inventors with “product goggles”?  Would you like our help?  Please call on +61 2 9258 1972 or go to our Contact page.

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