Ask Questions, Do Leg Work and Create New Possibilities

Monday, 07 April 2014 09:10
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People typically tell us what they want us to know...which may or may not be what we want to know. As most people can only guess at our interests, we must learn to ask incisive questions and listen carefully. In doing so, we can learn information necessary to help create the basis for new business possibilities. It requires an open mind, respectful curiosity, the ability to connect the dots, and the drive to pursue where the leads take us.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

Ask Questions, Do Leg Work, and Create New Possiblilities

"Curiosity can create opportunity. We must connect the dots to see where it can take us."

Here's an example of how curiosity can create opportunity. It may offer inspiration for your own efforts.

Runners worry about ankle injuries

Like many others, I enjoy running. My marathon running and long distance training days are now over, due in part to my having broken my ankle a few years ago. Still, I remain a recreational runner.

Research reveals that among serious athletes in particular, ankle sprains associated with running are a relatively common occurrence. Also, recurrent ankle injuries are of particular concern. Could an attractive business opportunity exist for a running shoe with far superior ankle stabilization properties to prevent injury and re-injury?

I recently read an article about a new basketball shoe

designed by an orthopedic radiologist to provide superior ankle stabilization and eliminate ankle sprains. I contacted the doctor, who initially expanded upon publicly available information about his high top basketball shoe.

A running shoe to prevent ankle sprains?
Given my personal interest in running, I was curious as to whether his technology could also help prevent ankle injuries in a low top running shoe. He indicated that it could. I showed him an existing branded trail running shoe making ankle stabilization claims. He responded, "there is absolutely no comparison in ankle support with our technology (versus) anyone else at this point..." A bold claim, to be sure, but he shared with me clinical data that supports his assertion in the basketball shoe context. He also has the support of a host of medical professionals and some elite athletes. I'm certainly no expert, but I'm convinced that he can do as he claims.

What must I learn next?

This prompts additional questions, including: how are runners currently addressing their ankle stabilization needs and are they satisfied with existing solutions? Are there any obvious need gaps? A key step in researching this opportunity would be to conduct research among runners to learn about their experiences and concerns, especially with respect to ankle injury prevention and their footwear purchases.

Ultimately, the most important question is: if there is a customer need, would the solution represent an attractive business opportunity? I think the answer is yes, but I have more work to do before concluding this.

In Conclusion
In order to create new possibilities, each of us should be prepared to ask good questions, lots of them and do the leg work (pardon the pun) their answers inspire. Good luck!

Since 2005, BFS Innovations has helped its Fortune 500 clients with technology scouting, creative problem solving and new business development services. Contact Michael today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 614 937-2408 to discuss your company's needs.


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