A Day in the Life at CaveCo.
Gronk came to the meeting cave and wiped off the cave board as the CaveCo product team filed into the cave and sat on hides. "Gronk," said Kronk, "you ready? Gronk sent me some product ideas he's been working on, and some of them seemed interesting. Go ahead, Gronk."
"Thanks, Kronk. For example, everyone knows not to hit dark rocks together, because if you do, a little bit of fire comes out." He drew a living cave, with a semi-circle of hides and put a flash of red in the middle. "What if we used that on purpose? You could put a fire in the middle of your living cave. If you put a hole in the roof over it, it would warm up the cave and keep the ice out."
"I have a friend who had a company called Fire.com that had a cave fire product," said Kronk. "Someone caught the corner of their mammoth-hide boots in it, and ended up burning up the whole cave. Everyone was too afraid to buy them after that."
"Besides, Gronk," said Bronk, "everyone hates having to go outside in the snow to wait for the smoke to get out. Then by the time you go back in it's getting cold again."
"That's what the hole is for," said Gronk.
"That would just make it cold faster," said Bronk. "Okay, so what are your other ideas?"
"Uh . . . well. You know how hard it is to drag around your stuff on a hide. I thought if you took some sticks, and put them on top of round stones, like this, it might be easier."
"Like the gravel-ease product?" asked Gak.
"No, this isn't a spread of small stones, it's a few really big ones."
"I see what you're getting at, Gronk," said Gak. "and it might work. But that would really eat up our gravel-ease revenue, which is keeping the company alive right now. Gravel-ease is used up quickly and our customers have to come buy more. These big stones would be a one-time sale. And being more expensive, harder to sell too."
"But everyone is competing with gravel-ease because it's so easy to make," said Gronk. "If we did this, we could differentiate ourselves."
"That would be really expensive to research," said Kronk.
And so, a few months later, when the competition released Fire and Wheel, CaveCo was the last to catch on and the first to go under.
All because they didn't understood that, between the inception of an idea and analyzing it to death, should be the critical step of finding value.