We’ve all grown up hearing grandma stories which always had a moral for us to remember. One such story is of Snow White, which when applied in today’s time, teaches budding entrepreneurs and innovators the important lesson of “speed to market”.
Most entrepreneurs or innovators who come to us for assistance with their inventions / innovations often delay initiating their patenting process and product launch to market, because they are still waiting to fine tune / test / improve their product or service.
We all want a commercially successful product and hear the magic mirror say, “Yes, your product or service is the most successful and perfect of them all”. But as a result of the modify-test-repeat we miss implementing speed to market. A ready prototype must hit the market first and incremental improvements may be launched gradually. This gives you a two-fold advantage: (1) you’re the first to launch and flood the market with your product or service and (2) you sustain in the market by offering a launch 2.0 which has the incremental improvements.
Any delay in the product or service launch gives competition the advantage of reaching your customer base first with their new products and services, and offering you a poisoned apple to eat instead; that casts its spell and puts your product or service in an eternal sleep mode. This essentially means that the market is saturated with your competitor’s product and there is minimal or less acceptability for yours even if the product or service being offered by your competitor is of substandard quality.
A classic example of “speed to market” is the videotape format war in the late 1970s and the 1980s, involving the Betamax and Video Home System (VHS) formats. Each time we hear an innovator say “mirror, mirror, on the wall” oops…. “the prototype isn’t perfect yet” this story immediately spices up our discussions. Briefly, Betamax, by Sony was a superior recording format over VHS. But Victor Company of Japan, Ltd or JVC launched first and gained monopoly in the market. The market was flooded with the JVC products and its associated video tapes making it difficult for Sony’s Betamax to penetrate the market.
Prince Charming or even your own true love will not be able to wake your product or service up from its eternal sleep spell if you miss implementing the “speed to market” lesson. Stay clear of the poisoned apples and plan your product or service launch in such a way that it accommodates time for patenting and follows the “speed to market” principle to reach the potential markets as soon as the product or service passes acceptable standards for launch.
Megha Anand is the Manager of Patents Division at KASS International, an established intellectual property firm with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar. She specialises in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications in the areas of computer science, information technology, telecommunications, and electronics. For more information, visit www.kass.asia or drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.