When you’re working hard to launch your own company, receiving any kind of criticism can be the last thing you want to hear. But while having your product’s flaws pointed out to you can make you feel like throwing in the towel, honest feedback can also give you the help you need to turn your product into the success you want it to be.
As a frequent flyer for business, it was former IT consultant Alistair Callender’s frustration at airport security queues that first gave him the idea for his company, Gate8. With many passengers being forced to pay excess baggage fees, thanks to airlines’ varying baggage requirements, he set about designing his own universally-accepted carry-on luggage – targeted at business travellers.
“I realised there was no single-solution piece of hand luggage that met the needs of the business traveller who makes one-to-three day trips,” explains Callender, who adds that 86 per cent of business trips fall into this time-frame. “So in 2010, I designed a foldaway wardrobe for garment storage with a zip-off laptop bag on the side that when combined doesn't exceed carry-on measurements.”
Seeking investment, Callender then approached entrepreneur Lara Morgan for her advice at a business event. However Morgan was less enthusiastic than he had hoped, giving him a whole list of reasons why his product would be a flop.
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