Thursday, February 24, 2011

The seed value

How do you start an enterprise, be it open or not?
Any enterprise starts with an idea. If we are talking about a commercial enterprise this idea must be a product idea. But most commercial enterprises are collective endeavors. In other words, we need to build an organization. we need to convince people to collaborate, to deploy some of their resources for the project. In order to do that we need to make them a value proposition. What's in it for them?

The seed value is a source of value. From it stems different other values that our potential collaborators might be interested in. In our particular case, our seed value is a new sensor prototype. This device embeds some knowledge and constitutes the materialization of some effort. It also demonstrates that a group is already formed,  a locus of know how already exists, having the capability of putting ideas into practice, of creating things and making things work, of solving real problems. Moreover, this device responds to a particular need. Therefore, it also represents potential. It promises something down the road.

The seed value establishes a locus of innovation, creation and production. Some people might find value in exchanging knowledge and knowhow within our collaborative space. Others might be attracted by potential revenues, by a market-share promise, etc. The seed value acts as an attractor and I see it as our most important asset when we kick-start our venture.

But empty promises cannot go far. Our seed value must be a fecund one. What about our optical fiber-based force/displacement (tactile) sensor? You'll be the judge.