Resolving to trust the process
The commercialization process can take people by surprise. Often that is because they think of it like a normal interaction within the commercial world: Someone has a product, someone else needs that product, they exchange the goods and services for the price that the market will bear, and everyone wins.
But the reality is that this process is not quite so straightforward and it is definitely not linear. You don’t sell technology by setting up a booth at your local farmer’s market. It is a discovery process and a conversation between you and all of the many people who your technology could impact. It is much more organic and personalized.
The biggest challenge for us is often managing our clients’ expectations. They will walk through our door with a vision - “I want to sell my technology to this agency/audience/population and this is how it will work.” Great! Maybe that is true! But more likely, as we embark on this journey we will come up with dozens of other possibilities. Are you open to selling components? Have you considered these potential stakeholders? What about these regulatory barriers? What about this agency that is actively looking for this solution already?
Are you willing to shift your vision? Or better yet - are you willing to go down a path where the final destination is still unclear?
The commercialization process is different for each and every technology, which is why those linear visions are so misleading and potentially dangerous. Focusing in on one solution too early will cloud your judgment and blind you to the other opportunities around you. And frankly, it will be more frustrating because there is no guarantee that your specific vision will bear out. But opening up to the journey, and allowing the process to unfold will ensure that wherever you land is the right solution, both for your and your eventual customers.
It can be complex and frustrating, but there IS a process. As this year comes to a close and you consider your goals for next year, we encourage you to set aside your vision and shift your focus on the process itself. And if that feels too uncomfortable, don’t worry - we are here to help.