David Pettey | Response Technologies LLC co-founder and CEO
By many standards, I am considered an “old dog.” Being a product of the U.S. textile industry, I can appreciate how first appearances would suggest this label is a good fit.
The textile industry has not been highly innovative. Consequently, the industry’s creative energy has been invested in cost reduction, rather than engaged in innovating higher-value products and processes.
Response Technologies was formed shortly after making proof-of-concept prototypes that validated our novel 3-D textile product formation process.
But an innovative process is of no value if it cannot create the aspirin for customers’ biggest pain points. It turned out that the product features that we were convinced were of immense value to our customers, very often were not.
Thankfully, we did not waste precious engineering resources force-fitting those features into our products. Instead, we presented minimal viable products to our customers, and actively listened to what was of unique value to them. Their input greatly “de-risked” our development efforts, gave them a superior product and extended our startup’s viability runway.
I had always followed the model of fully developing products first. Within the context of a fragile startup, that approach would have been fatal.
Customer validation of a minimal viable product’s value, on the other hand, is a fast and cheap date. What’s more, rebounding from early rejection is less painful.
Response Technologies has embraced the power of MVP and early customer involvement. This approach, coupled with our innovative additive manufacturing processes, has evolved us from a rapid prototyping to rapid commercialization company.