Monday, April 6, 2009

Tip of the Week - Does Your Product Fill a Need?

Why do most new products and new businesses fail? There are a lot of reasons, but one of the most fundamental reasons is that the product or service doesn't fill a real need -- or at least a big need.

Some products fill a passing need -- like having fun. A new toy or game that is really fun to play can take the nation by storm because people need entertainment. People love games. Think of games or toys that once were fads -- hula hoops, Trivial Pursuit, Pacman....

But these are not fads anymore. The need to play something new has taken over. Some games, however, last forever -- Monopoly comes to mind. What makes that game endure? Will Sudoku last?

Think of other kinds of games, like tennis. What needs do tennis players have? Clothes that are comfortable, tennis rackets that make hitting easier, balls that bounce well longer, tennis rackets that won't give you tennis elbow, medical devices that help prevent tennis elbow or bad knees...

What needs can you think of?

Products like Under Armor keep you comfortable while playing, the Prince tennis racket when it first came out made so-so players hit more balls well, rackets that reduce vibration put less wear and tear on the elbow, arm bands reduce the shock to the elbow....

Think of all the things you and others do. What needs do the products you use fill? Why do you buy them? Why do you hire people to do things for you?

When you're starting or running a business, you really need to think about how much need is out there. How many people really need your product? Why?

Get thinking. Get doing.

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