Every once in awhile I come across a great inventorship story. This is the story of Jane ní Dhulchaointigh (pronounced “knee-gull-queen-tig”). A UK product designer, Jane developed a moldable glue which is sold today as Sugru.
Jane started out wanting a more effective ergonomic knife handle. Using silicone caulk and sawdust, she spent 6 years experimenting with over 5000 different variations on a moldable glue formula. Once she had attained the desired formula, Jane wanted to approach 3M to buy it. But the year was 2008 and many advised her against it.
Since necessity is the mother of invention, Jane and her team decided to launch the product themselves. They initially focused on the online craft market and used social media to help advertise their product.
What’s the take away here? Be persistent. It took Jane 6 years to develop this product and formula. Most of us would have given up after 6 hours. Also choose your advisors well and follow solid advice. Sugru’s sales skyrocketed with the strong emphasis on social media. Jane has also maintained a strong competitive advantage internationally by using the patent system.
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