I spoke to an entrepreneur today. He is currently seeking funding to bring a new product to market.
The product sounds fantastic in what it does and how it does it. I do not want to share any details, but it is a cosmetic product.
We spoke about the gaps in his business plan. I had pointed them out while preparing an information memorandum for him. One gap was: proof.
What is proof?
Had they done any clinical studies? No. OK, the costs are several $100,000
Had they done any studies with friends and acquaintances? No. He did not want to get anyone’s attention before the product was ready for launch.
So the proof rests on the words of the inventor and his knowledge of how it works – in theory.
He is a great person and convincing in how he speaks about his product, but does he really expect investors to go for it on that basis?
I think he does.
And it made me think about the traits of inventors and entrepreneurs.
It is probably one of the most important traits to have: absolute faith in yourself, your product and in what you are doing. There is no other way to keep up the stamina to move through the obstacles of getting something up and going.
But then you need to let go
However when the team grows, the inventor has to change.
Maybe that is not possible. After pushing for so many years, it seems to be ingrained:
- not listening to criticism (even if constructive)
- not opening up to different approaches
- believing in the value of your product as an obsession
I wonder how inventors who got over the initial start-up were able to morph into team players.