I have a great idea. Should I build a value proposition?

As an inventor I constantly have new ideas about how things can be done better. I’ve read your commentary about developing compelling value propositions but how can I tell if my invention/innovation is really worth all of the effort required to build a value proposition?


Developing a value proposition can be likened to a applying for a new job.

We start as one of many and as we make it through each interview the field narrows until a final appointment is made.

As an inventor/innovator, you are constantly generating first interviews. To progress through to the point of establishing a value proposition requires a number of elements, including detailed product/technical knowledge; an appreciation for market demand; an understanding of your path to market, etc

Nevertheless, underpinning all of these elements are four key attributes that can give you a head start in finally delivering a compelling value proposition.


1. Elegance

It should be elegant. Elegant solutions are typically easier to manufacture and their features/benefits tend to be self explanatory.

Elegance appeals to the emotional/aesthetic side of customers which is very important in the context of generating buying decisions. Elegance is also often associated with simplicity – again a very attractive feature of any invention. People normally assume that if something is simple, it is likely to work longer and be more reliably.

Be honest with yourself assessment and then decide if you’re ready for a second interview…


2. Completeness

The invention should be deliverable as a product that is self-contained with no external dependencies.

It should solve the totality of the problem it is addressing.

A luxury car is not just an engine, metal and leather…it is the complete integration of these components to deliver the full product experience.


3. Intelligence

People should be able to look at what you’ve done and exclaim: “That’s really clever…why didn’t anyone else think of that?!”

Think of a universal remote control replacing the high tech junk on your coffee table…


4. Depth

The invention should be rich in features and benefits. From packaging to utility, it must not only meet the demands/needs of your target market, but should anticipate them!

Think of a software package such as MYOB…as a small business person you use it because it covers all of your bases (and then some).


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