Why I Dig "Mining"...and So Should You!

Monday, 06 February 2012 06:30
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"Mining" is the act of extracting minerals or other valuable materials from the ground. Success is maximized by leveraging technical expertise, skillful judgments, and with a bit of luck thrown in. The same can be said for innovation "mining". Do you have what it takes to be a a skillful miner?

Read on, dear friends....

Why I Dig "Mining"...and So Should You!

The Discovery Channel reality television series, "Coal" focuses on the efforts of a small, privately owned West Virginia coal mining company to successfully build its business. In addition to showcasing the difficult and dangerous work that the miners do, "Coal" also reveals some scientific aspects of the coal mining business: excavation site selection, the use of specialized heavy machinery, and how to "cut" deep into mountain walls without causing excessive structural instability. It also shows the artistry: a highly sought-after mining supervisor whose deft handling of a massive rotary drill determines whether his team will uncover valuable coal or if they will spend their time driving only into stone.

Innovation mining is similar to coal mining in that valuable materials can be captured if one knows where and how to "dig". It is also siimilar in another very profound way: one will rarely extract value if he is unwilling to burrow beneath the surface. 

Most of us are taught at an early age, "Be quiet and you might learn something." Still, to be a truly effective miner, one must be more than a passive listener. Successful mining occurs when one asks probing questions followed by insightful listening. Sometimes one must also be lucky. Here are a couple of representative examples:

While making inquiry with the developer of a "green" hard surface disinfectant, I learned unexpectedly, that the technology also has powerful and proven effectiveness in other usage areas, including acne treatment...with necessary regulatory approvals currently in process.

I asked a technologist with a cleaner burning fuel alternative to pressed paraffin logs if his innovation had additional applications. He enthusiastically replied that it is highly suitable for use in place of traditional and soy candles. However, since his prior experence with a home fragrance company was a negative one, he hasn't chosen to revisit the topic since then. Guess what we'll be talking about next week.

Mining expertise can be very valuable, especially in instances where a large company makes and sells a variety of products across which a high value technology platform (such as those described in the examples above) can potentially be leveraged. Are you extracting maximum value from your technology lead generation efforts? I can virtually guarantee whatever value you are gleaning today, artful mining can help you to at least double it. 

Contact me today (614 937-2408) if you'd like to discuss your situation.


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