Guy Kawasaki, author of Art of the Start, has a telling observation. You should be so lucky that your audience where members of one thing about your pitch, what your organization does. I can't tell you how many times I hear a presentation, only to ask during the Q and A, what exactly is the product? Or what exactly are you proposing to solve the problem? Or can you tell me what your solution is again? Often the reason it isn't clear, stems from the fact that the person or team solving the problem is too close to it. They think that it's obvious that the solution is a pharmaceutical drug, a system, a medical device, a diagnostic, a software platform, an app, an IT system et cetera, but it's not always obvious. You have to tell us exactly what it is. Use the words; drug, medical device, diagnostic, software system, app et cetera. Being clear to us, means that you have to be clear to the team working on your project. You'd be surprised how often the question, what is not clearly spelled out. Let me give you an example. In a class I taught recently, there was a research team in the life sciences using their very real project as the class project. They had identified a critical problem in the cardiac space, and we're proposing an innovative solution. While it was relatively straightforward to explain the problem, it was complex to explain why current solutions were not effective. In turn, their solution was super complex. It took us the other class participants who were scientists and me eight weeks, almost the whole course to finally understand what they were proposing. You mean your solution is a drug and a device? I exclaimed in a blinding flash of realization. What helped me understand was the team using simple language and a few simple graphics on their slides that illustrated how this solution would work. The graphics showed why it had to be both a drug and a device, and why it couldn't be one or the other. It shouldn't take eight weeks to be able to communicate what you have in mind. You have to clearly state what the solution is and make sure that others understand it. A good solution starts with a thorough understanding of the problem because you can't solve something that you don't understand. How you solve it is the basis of your project. I would encourage you to apply what you're learning in this course to how you view both the problem and the solution. You want to provide a solution that has practical, while providing the most benefit to users. This will require you to approach the problem creatively. There may be a novel solution that will benefit users and customers, but nobody has thought about it yet. If you really focus on your solution benefiting stake holders, then it has a better chance of being commercialized. Which of course, stems from thoroughly understanding the problem. Once you know what the solution is, make sure you're able to articulate what it will do. This entails both how it solves the problem and how users will interact with it. Be crystal clear about what your solution does and use simple language to describe it. Stay away from acronyms and long scientific words that may not be understood by a lay audience. As you describe your solution and its benefits, this is the time to refer to the underlying technology if you're focused on a technology solution. But remember, don't give us a lengthy scientific treatise, but rather an overview of the technology that sets your solution apart and a concise explanation of how it benefits stakeholders. As you discuss technology, it's important to reveal your intellectual property strategy. IP as it is known can be very important in the life sciences. In addition, IP is key in any university's technology transfer process. Well, we won't deal with IP in detail in this course. It's important to recognize that IP is critical. Did you file your invention disclosure? I encourage you to read about intellectual property so that you understand what you should reveal and what you should not. Once you're clear on how to communicate what the solution is, make sure that you address how your solution solves the problem. Does it solve the whole problem or only part of the problem? In my cardiology example before, the scientists used a simple analogy of a tennis ball to communicate how the system would enter the body and how it would work on the heart. The simple animation that resulted was not silly or simplistic, it was informative and the scientists ability to communicate the problem and their solution has affected their ability to now move their project forward towards commercialization. While you are thinking through the solution and doing research on other solutions for the problem, you'll have the opportunity to glean important information. While some of these topics will be covered in more detail in future videos as part of this course, I want to outline some areas now for you to recognize as the information will be readily available. It's good practice to think into the future as you investigate your solution early on. Sometimes, what you discover can inform your research and your approach to the problem and the solution. The areas you might find valuable to research include these: What other solutions are out there? How did these solutions benefit stakeholders? Why do stakeholders still think there's a problem if there's already a solution? How do your competitors make money? How did they price their products and services? How will you compare with both benefits and pricing? We'll look at benefits competition and differentiation in greater depth later, but it's wise to start thinking about them now. Moving in a direction of creating a solution that has value to users, customers, and all stakeholders is what will translate your research towards the real goal of helping people. To do that, you must develop a real solution to a real problem.