My corporate career was a history of retail buying littered with making unreasonable, untested demands of suppliers to invest in new production kit or packaging formats that ended up in sizeable losses when the products hit the shelf. I began to see the light when I got interested in the technology sector, exploring how the application of technology and crowdsourcing could help validate all these massive assumptions being made every day by the whole CPG sector. Seven years ago I founded a technology company called Vypr as a way to generate the consumer testing data required, wanting to build a company that allowed the CPG sector to innovate in the same way as the technology sector does. Bill and I continue to bang the drum for Agile Innovation, rock solid in our belief that it will change the way that our industry develops and launches new products.
Bill Harte on his co-author, Ben Davies
When I first heard of Ben from a friend, Sam Matthewson, I was furious. He had independently taken one of my amazing ideas that I had only ever dreamt of and never told anyone about and made it happen with VYPR. We met over a coffee in Manchester for possibly the easiest sales pitch of Ben’s life. From that moment on, we’ve been applying the principles of The Lean Startup and pushing ourselves to find out more about innovation and how to make innovation work better in consumer packaged goods (CPG). We’ve partnered together on working with clients and large multiple grocers, as well as sparking off each other to come up with simple and elegant solutions to previously complex and expensive research methodologies. For me, Ben has been the biggest supporter of the Agile Innovation mindset, of moving away from ‘make then sell’ to ‘sell then make’. He has encouraged me to challenge the norms of innovation and of myself, and continually developed his own proposition to fit the needs of his clientsBill Harte