The Art of Propelling Forward!
Through our experience in developing and commercializing our own medical devices and consumer health solutions, we’ve learned firsthand that product development and commercialization is a team sport every step of the way.
A great team has both strong supporters to propel you forward on your journey, and critics… who also help the team to propel forward! You may ask yourself the question: how can two opposing forces both help a team propel forward? Let’s first explore the value of the team ‘critic’.
Here’s one of the biggest pitfalls in product development:
“If you build it, the customers will come.”
As the inventor behind your idea, it is challenging to remain objective and consistently apply a process of critical thinking to thoroughly characterize the true business opportunity and the potential risks. When this is done early in the development process it increases the chances of effectively mitigating those risks and turning them into potential opportunities.
For obvious reasons, an inventor will be convinced that the solution is solving a significant problem or addressing an unmet need. But how did you get to the conclusion that there is a real problem to be solved? What actions did you take to validate your assumptions objectively and robustly beyond your own opinion and experience? What methodology did you use to identify who is feeling the pain as your potential target customer? How did you quantify the potential customer segments to validate that there is a business opportunity sizable enough to get investors excited? Those are the important questions your critics will ask you and force you to think about. When done early in the product development process, these critical questions will propel your project forward and keep you on the right track to success. It’s about getting it right the first time around.
The critics play another very important role that will also help you propel forward as an inventor. Great ideas do not always make great business opportunities. Therefore, the best decision sometimes is to discontinue the project, propel forward and apply your knowledge, skills, and resources to a new opportunity.
One thing is very clear: bringing a medical device or consumer health product to market is a challenging marathon. If you’ve run a marathon, then you know the only thing that keeps you going are the supporters on the sideline cheering you on, propelling you forward towards the finish line.
In the development and commercialization process of a medical device or consumer health product, your supporters share your vision and your mission; they help clear potential hurdles and smooth out the path that leads to a successful commercialization of the product. This includes at a high level the creation of a great end-user product experience, addressing regulatory and reimbursement needs, and designing a competitive business model to earn revenue and build a sustainable enterprise.
The Value of a Partner Who Can be Both a Critic and Supporter:
For those less familiar with the business-side of bringing a product to market, here is another way of visualizing the commercialization strategy. In order to get your product to the right end-user at the right time and at the right price, you need a vessel or carrier that is designed to do just that.
When you load the vessel, it has to be balanced to avoid capsizing. From a commercialization strategy perspective, Simbex plays the role of both critic and supporter throughout the collaboration process; providing a balanced, objective perspective on your invention and the commercial opportunity.
Early on in the commercialization strategy development, Simbex puts a heavier emphasis on the role of critic to ensure the true business opportunity is validated and the winning solution clearly characterized. This is the true foundation for all other steps that follow in the commercialization and product development process. We help identify business risks early on through our red flag analysis supported by clear recommendations on mitigation strategies. Depending on the significance of the challenges we find, we may recommend not further investing in the opportunity. However, that final decision will always be yours. Our role is to provide you with the right information and insights you need to make the best decision.
With the business opportunity and path to market clearly defined, Simbex can partner with you in the creation of a great end-user product experience, bringing together our combined Engineering and Commercialization Strategy experience. This ensures that the product will be firmly aligned with customer expectations. Our regulatory and reimbursement strategy recommendations will smooth out the path to market. In parallel, we will explore and recommend viable, revenue-generating business models that are aligned with your objectives as an entrepreneur, whether you would like to stay independent and grow your business, seek partners, or sell.
And finally, here is how we, at Simbex, think about a successful partnership. Success is not defined by the dollars or the size of the opportunity. We’re not only defined by the products we bring to market, but by the people we have and the impact we can make together! Our core values of innovation, openness, passion, agility, integrity, and social responsibility can be found in everything we do from how we work together to the products we develop.