Are You Supplying Innovative Solutions?

I do hope so. On another level, I do hope not.

A conundrum wrapped in an antinomy inside a dilemma, you might say.

One I was alerted to with a news report from a North West region of England. It sought voters’ views on the currently being “negotiated” Brexit divorce bill payment. The prevailing wisdom was that Brussels is demanding unjustified, ludicrous sums of Britain. One analogy was that this is like sitting down at a restaurant and being asked to pay through the nose to do so, before you’ve then even looked at the menu for food on top.

The person articulating this metaphor turned out to be an inventor. What does he do?

“We manufacture a (sic) innovative heating system”

Martin Wadsworth founded Discrete Heat, in Atherton, near Wigan. Who famously got passed over on TV‘s Dragon’s Den (aka Shark Tank). Now running a successful new and growing company, he clearly has had the last laugh.

It transpires his marvellous idea is simple (aren’t they all);

“a central heating system that disguises radiators in aluminium skirting boards.”

When I read that particular newspaper description, I was baffled as to why he’d chosen to use the words quoted earlier instead.

Naturally I do recognise that judicious tv editing may well have omitted or altered his precise promotional phrasing. Yet given the footage screened, it does seem that this fashion of introduction is normal and regular.

Who cares for being told something is “innovative”? Not as many as you’d think. Mostly, those pitched prefer to work it out for themselves.

I couldn’t help thinking how much better that journalist line would be. I’d shrink it further; ‘radiators disguised as skirting boards’. Sounds such a winner. So matter-of-fact, yet disarmingly game-changing.

The problem with telling everybody you meet that you’re peddling the brand new is well trodden. Even by the most generous of ‘adoption’ models, only one in six people will be interested in the “new”.

Not everybody likes to be at the forefront of the bleeding, most razored of cutting edges. Crests of waves are for the foolish. Disruption is for those with money, time and carefree reputations to burn.

I have seen so many big pitches fall flat because of this. The salesperson presenting is so excited to have the newest, shiniest, most exclusive toy in the box. They alienate their audience by relentless pushing of the impending upheaval their transformative fresh device will surely wreak.

When you consider the rave review the above article goes on to colour, there’s a beautiful trove of further wonders his prospect can progress towards;

“This cheap, versatile system does away with the eyesore and inconvenience of conventional radiators, meaning furniture can be put anywhere in a room.

It is also a fraction of the cost of underfloor central heating systems, which typically involve laying plastic water pipes within a concrete screed sub-floor – and can cause a host of problems for any flooring you might put above it apart from ceramic or stone.”

So why ruin the chance of a clinching conversation by applying your stamp as innovative from the off? I hope you’re not falling down the same trap.

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