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The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread…Or Is It?

In 1928, sliced bread hit the shelves marketed at the “greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.”  The development became the universal benchmark for greatness, mostly for its improvement of convenience and utilization of a basic dietary staple, becoming the ingenuity that we refer to when discussing the best of innovation or developments. As a result, the consumptions of breads, jams, and spreads increased dramatically.  However, in some cases, its meaning is applied incorrectly by entrepreneurs describing a new idea for the next greatest innovation.

Entrepreneurs routinely inspire those around them for their unrepentant ability to brainstorm one idea, after another, so intently focused on the ideas that they fail to form and execute a coherent strategy to initiate their product or service into a viable business.  Ideas are common, particularly when generated out of a personal preference or need, but understanding if the idea, whether a product or service, is something a mass audience would purchase and embrace is another thing entirely.

Developing an executable strategy is the difference between talking about an idea and establishing and growing and sustainable business.   Here are a few tips in the early stages of bringing an idea to market:

Identify the Need

The best and most easily marketable ideas are those that solve a consumer need.


Engage friends and colleagues in the thought process.  Feedback and constructive criticism can assist in fine-tuning the features and benefits of an idea to anticipate and better meet the needs of the marketplace.


Educate yourself on the marketplace you wish to enter. Understand the opportunities and potential pitfalls. Creating a blue ocean requires that entrepreneurs dig a little deeper.  The difference between success and failure is often determined by market factors hidden just below the surface.


Success for any business is in the execution.  Even the greatest idea, remains just an idea until it is introduced, presented and distributed to an accepting market.

The test of any innovation or business development is time.  Sliced bread has been around for nearly 85 years and has become the universally accepted standard.  The “little nipper,” the classic snapping mouse trap invented by James Henry Atkinson in 1897, still retains 60 percent of international market sales, it appears that building, and marketing, a better mouse trap, is taking a little longer.

1 Response
  1. […] Entrepreneurs readily thrive on formulating great ideas for new products and business ventures and many even manage to muster credibility when it comes to formulating a vision for success, but all too often the busy road to market is littered with the debris of unrealized dreams and unfulfilled intentions. Initial investments generally are freely cast towards product development, manufacturing, packaging and market logistics, and while tangible and of paramount importance, these factors alone will not be enough to ensure successful marketability and viable business sustainability. […]

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