The Problem Your Product Is Designed to Solve May Be More than One

While creating a product to solve the problem you discovered, you must bear in mind that the product may solve more than that problem.

That is why it’s good to be open minded as a business owner. Otherwise, you may insist that your product must solve only the problem it is created for and your competitors will take over the product for new uses.

A German chemist developed Novacin as the first local anesthetic in 1905. But he could not get the doctors to use it; they preferred total anesthesia (they only accepted Novacin during World War 1).

But totally unexpected, dentists began to use the stuff. Whereupon- or so the story goes- the chemist began to travel up and down German making speeches against Novacin’s use in dentistry. He had not designed it for that purpose!

If the chemist had created Novacim and hoped that it will do what it was created for and more, he wouldn’t have travelled to different places to fight the usage of his own invention. I mean, how can you fight against your own product?

Peter Drucker said that the same thing happened in the computer industry. “The company that had the first computer, Univac, knew that its magnificent machine was designed for scientific work.

And so it did not send a salesman out when a business showed interest in it; surely, it argued, these people could not possibly know what a computer was all about.

IBM was equally convinced that the computer was an instrument for scientific work: their own computer had been designed specifically for astronomical calculations. But IBM was willing to take orders from businesses and to serve them.

Ten years later, around 1960, Univac still had by far the most advanced and best machine. IBM had the computer market.”

Every business owner should have the skill to adapt to new changes in the market. Don’t hold on to one idea and abandon other possible ways to use what you are selling.

That is why you should take research and development serious. You must continually try out your products to see if you can find other uses for it.

“Shortly after the World War 11, a small Indian engineering firm bought the license to produce a European-designed bicycle with an auxiliary light engine.

It looked like an ideal product for India; yet it never did well. The owner of this small firm noticed, however, that substantial orders came in for the engine alone.

At first he wanted to turn down those orders; what could anyone possibly do with such a small engine?

It was curiosity alone that made him go to to the actual area the orders came from. There he found farmers were taking the engines off the bicycles and using them to power irrigation pumps that hitherto had been hand-operated.

The manufacturer is now the world’s largest maker of small irrigation pumps, selling them by millions. His pumps have revolutionized farming all over Southeast Asia.”~Peter Drucker.

The bicycle manufacturer was smart enough to align his company towards the new uses of his bicycle engine. If he had insisted that the engine must be used for the bicycle, someone else would have taken over the irrigation pumps business.

This and more will be elucidated at the Business and Career Conference, coming up in Abuja on the 14th September, 2019.

If you are a business owner that wants to take his business to the global markets, you must be at this conference. Call Godwin on 07032681154 to get more information about the conference. Or send an email via

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