We left the meeting dejected and disappointed. Because our presentation was cut short, some of our team members hadn’t even been able to deliver their portion of the pitch. We’d traveled so many miles to have this meeting, to have our twenty minutes – and we weren’t given that much. It was upsetting.
We began trying to understand what went wrong and what went right. We asked a lot of questions. “Where do we go from here?” we wondered. When we received our formal rejection, it wasn’t a surprise. I always ask my students to probe beyond their rejection. Why did it occur? What can they learn from it? Is there an opportunity to resubmit their product? Unfortunately, we didn’t have one. The bid was lost. It was a great experience, albeit a disappointing one, but I kept thinking, “So many people did so much work…” It was rough.
The months went by and I immersed myself in other projects. Until the day Marlen received a very exciting phone call.
The Department of Education had awarded another company the contract. But that company was interested in our product. The nutritional guidelines had been so strict that the company wasn’t interested in creating a new beverage or hadn’t been able to; they chose instead to buy ours.
Sometimes when you’re sure you’re down and out, you’re not. We were back!
Panic struck shortly after our ecstatic joy. They wanted the product now. What did we know about the beverage industry? It’s not exactly easy to develop a product out of thin air. We began steam rolling ahead. There was so much to do in such a short amount of time! We needed to taste test the product with kids, to perfect the package design and the label. We knew our market audience and we knew where our product would be sold, but there were many other factors to consider.
Be careful what you wish for…
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio
show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media
outlets find you for news stories.