Is product development a good way to get rich quick?

7th September 2017

Is product development a good way to get rich quick?

The 'enterprise culture' is often presented as a means of developing your own products and making a lot of money. Some talk about 'doing a Dyson' or preparing a pitch for Kickstarter as if success is guaranteed. The realities are a little different.

The recent, and much publicised downfall of Juicero  should act as a cautionary tale to would-be entrepreneurs who have found a 'solution looking for a problem'.

The first and most important questions should always be 'who is going to buy this, why will they and in what quantities?' A clear consumer need is always a good start, but successful entrepreneurs like Apple and Tesla have shown that great products can generate their own market - provided that they offer something new and desirable. 

Once you have your product, don't assume that the world will beat a path to your door for that better mousetrap. However brilliant and desirable your product is, it will fail unless you promote it effectively. Like high quality manufacture, this will probably not be cheap - although social media campaigns can achieve a lot for a relatively small investment.

Finally, make sure you manufacture your product effectively, pay attention to issues like packaging, instructions and after sales service - and look after your customers. If this doesn't sound simple, it's because it isn't!

The most important thing is to pay attention to the details. If you look at the most successful manufacturing companies, they all sell things that are extremely well finished, detailed and produced. Companies like Apple have become extremely wealthy by doing things thoroughly and slowly - not rushing to market with the first idea they thought of...

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