Prescott is a graduate of Babson College, served as an officer in the US Marine Corps, trained police officers at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, launched POLITICO Pro Defense, and now serves as the International Research Consultant for his family business, 300 Below, Inc. After cardiac arrest, brief death, and subsequent revival, his reflections on an inspired second chance at life are posted here daily.
Reflecting beyond the day I found out why.
I feel a sense of accomplishment surrounding our latest creation in the lab at work, which was then marked with frustration because of not deeply understanding a topic. As someone responsible for a product launch, it becomes challenging to make a decision when you must rely on the subject matter expertise of other people.
At 300 Below, we improved non-toxic cleaning solution, called Pristine, but now we’re faced with the challenge of an increased pH level. I don’t know what that means when we compare our new solution against competitors, but I’m told it’s not a good thing if we’re far above our original 7.7 pH level. But then when I get advice from other respected chemists, they tell me it really doesn’t matter.
So what is the real answer? There’s a lot of difference between theory and real world application. In this case, we’ve done some loose testing to find out that the new formulation is a lot stronger than our last version. From what I can gather, I would rather take this new concoction and test it out in the real world to see what happens to our applications than continue to brainstorm on paper. At some point, you have to commit, and we are holding up our business by continuing to refine our new developments with the formulation.
I’m especially grateful for the generous collaboration offered to us by George Bennett and the rest of the Millikin University Science and Entrepreneurship Program team members, who allowed us to use their chemistry lab to test our pH levels. We don’t have all the sensitive equipment needed to perform detailed testing, so partners like this are really helpful.
So, what have I learned today?
First off, partnerships are instrumental to success in emerging ventures, which means you need to recognize, respect, and reward the people who help you grow. Secondly, patience is important to a point with things done on paper, but implementation is far more useful… Picking a path toward real world assessment is the only way to truly understand how people will experience your product once it is produced.