It has been almost eight months since the Lightie™ was announced the grand prize winner of the FNB ideas can help competition held in spectacular fashion at FNB head quarters, Bank City, Gauteng.
Since winning life for me got a whole lot busier! There have TV interviews, radio interviews, magazine interviews, skype interviews, live interviews hundreds of requests for investment opportunities, thousands of pre-orders, thousands of e-mails and hundreds of calls on a daily basis from around the world the list goes on. As exciting as it has all been, it has also been an extremely draining and overwhelming experience. Being an innovator/entrepreneur is no easy feat and if you are considering going down this road, don’t do it unless it is an obsession and/or something you love. You are going to need lots of staying power and that only comes with genuine passion #TipOfTheDay
The 28th March 2014 marked the official start of the 12 month commercialization program as part of the prize through FNB’s consulting partners, Edge Growth. Upon arriving at the Edge Growth Head Office in JHB we immediately got down to business. From the start is was clear that the Edge Growth team were really excited about working with me to make the Lightie™ a success! I arrived with an open mind. A culture of open mindedness and a passionate team, I believe is paramount to the success of any new innovative business venture.
After the scheduled five-hour session with the Edge Growth team I had begun my journey of familiarizing myself with concept of the Lean Business startup model approach. This is the business development model Edge Growth has chosen to help me commercialize the Lightie™. In a nutshell, the essence of the Lean Business Startup model it to train the startup to use minimal resources to gather real, focused & quantifiable data in order to eliminate any potential guesswork and in the process develop a business model based on the real-world evidence obtained. “After all life is too short to build something nobody wants”
On 3 April I once again met with the Edge Growth team again, this time at their offices in Cape Town. We continued to work on the Lean business models’ versions of the business plan AKA the Lean canvas. It was an intense session. Simplifying the lean canvas (business plan) for the Lightie™ is not a straightforward task. The session finished off with my tasks for the next three weeks outlined. Getting out there and mingling with potential early adapters/end users interviewing them and understanding how they currently get and use light at night time and how they operate under these conditions.
It has been an incredible journey up until now and I am looking forward to conducting my interviews this week and seeing how the Lean business model takes shape and helps make the Lightie™ a reality.