Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Six Key Strategies for RFID Startups

Here's what entrepreneurs must do to turn their radio frequency identification inventions into commercially viable products.
By Samuel Greengard
Apr 06, 2014

These days, there is no shortage of innovative ideas for new radio frequency identification products and solutions. But getting an invention to market involves more than a clever concept and a brilliant design. RFID Journal spoke with several industry experts—as well as two companies that have brought their RFID products to market—to understand how best to approach the startup process and maximize the odds of success. Here are six key steps.

Identify Customers
It's one thing to develop a new RFID product. It's an entirely different thing to develop one that appeals to businesses or consumers. "An entrepreneur must have a very clear understanding of potential customers," says John Devlin, ABI Research's practice director of security and ID. "It's critical to know how a product would meet their needs, how they are likely to use it, and how the product is different from others."

There's a huge difference between technologies and solutions, says Paul Wallace, the managing director of Heritage Group, which invests in RFID health-care companies. The two are not synonymous, he says. "A lot of entrepreneurs and engineers become very attached to their technology. They need to spend some time in their customer's shoes to better understand the real pain points of their customers," Wallace explains. "Only then can they offer up a solution to address those needs."

"As you identify your customer for your product, make sure the RFID product offers true and quantifiable value," says Bernd Schoner, the author of the upcoming book The Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide: How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, and Cash in for Success (McGraw-Hill, May 2014). "Cool and interesting is not good enough," says Schoner, the founder of ThingMagic—which Trimble acquired in 2010—where he is now the VP of business development.

"Over the past decade, a lot of money has been invested into RFID, and many startups and large corporations have contributed to the RFID ecosystem," Schoner says. "Don't try to reinvent the wheel, but use the elements and products that are already commercially available. You should be in the business of enabling RFID systems and solutions by filling the gaps between those existing elements. I believe there are great businesses to be built leveraging past work and investments in our industry."

To understand the interplay between a product and potential customers, it is vital to conduct market research, develop a prototype and engage in trials and testing. John McLear, who developed the NFC Ring, which unlocks smartphones and doors and operates lights and tablets, says the intersection of product development and customers is critical. As he studied the ways in which people handled and used the ring, design and specifications changed. "In some cases, it took months to dissect a problem or challenge and rework things in a customer-centric way," he notes. "We learned so much from early adopters. They gave us feedback we couldn't have gotten if we had gone straight to retail."

Develop a Strong Business Plan
Most RFID entrepreneurs require startup capital. But before you can begin seeking investors, you must write a business plan. It is imperative to develop a plan that addresses the specifics of how the RFID solution will provide features and capabilities that do not already exist, or how the solution changes things in today's fast-moving marketplace.

To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,263 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco