Most times when we seek to identify a solution for a challenge we face, we approach the search in a single minded and focused manner. This typically enables us to efficiently identify solution options. However, what if one of the options we were considering also had exceptional versatility, enabling relevant and incremental ancillary benefit delivery? This could impact or even alter our choice of preferred option. It could enable us to market these additional benefits as value-added differentiators. It might also encourage us to consider its use with different and or additional applications. Learning about these properties will necessitate time investment...but if we are smart about how we do this, the returns can be substantial.
Example 1: I am working with a company that has licensed a patented aerogel. This material has superb insulating properties and can be applied in situations in which a user wishes to efficiently maintain hot or cold conditions. For instance, it would be expected to be used with a water heater or a chiller. However, while doing research on this material, I learned that it also provides excellent sound proofing characteristics. This could have caused a garage band like the Ramones looking to insulate their garage (which are typically poorly sealed) to consider applying the aerogel material to its walls to enable them to practice in comfort. Joey Ramone's mother might also have encouraged this purchase to minimize how much of her son's band's practice she had to listen to.
Example 2: Similarly, my company represents ViaStone, a patented material that serves as a terrific, economical alternative to paper and plastic in decorative packaging applications. It has exceptional barrier properties which add substantial value for those uses. These properties also can be highly beneficial in home and building construction applications. For instance, it provides superior performance versus current market alternatives as a drywall vapor barrier.
This is a long winded way of saying that when one exhibits curiosity and takes time to research the varied properties of technologies, he/she may find that some have considerable robustness. This added utility could serve as a "tie breaker" to decide between candidates otherwise close in performance on a particular key attribute. It can also enable new, unexpected usage applications which can tremendously expand their utility and value to end users.
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