Doug Fletcher was the keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary 2015 Optec Conference at Montana State on September 15, 2015.  His presentation was titled, The Path To Success – Marketing Strategy for the Technology Entrepreneur.  Optec is the annual Optical Science & Engineering conference sponsored by the MSU Optical Technology Center (OpTeC), with support from the MSU Vice-President for Research and Economic Development, the City of Bozeman, and the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance.

The key message of Doug’s talk was that successful commercialization of technology requires a strong marriage between great engineering and smart marketing. In his presentation, Doug dispels the following commonly held myths:

Myth 1: Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

Myth 2: The best product always wins.

Myth 3: Great business ideas start in the R&D lab.

Myth 4: Marketing = Advertising

And offers the following key takeaways to commercialization success:

Key Takeaway 1: Begin with a clear marketing strategy. 

Key Takeaway 2: Success = great engineering + smart marketing

Key Takeaway 3: Invest as much time and energy into marketing as you do to engineering. 

You can view Doug’s presentation slides here.

Many will be surprised to learn that Southwest Montana has become a national hub of photonics and laser optics companies with the highest per capita concentration in the U.S.  Currently, there are 28 photonics and laser industry companies in the greater Bozeman area employing over 500 employees.  There’s a lot going on in MT in this exciting growth field due to the strong collaboration between Montana State University and talented startup companies.  It’s a great success story for Montana’s economy and is positioned for strong growth in the coming decades.  If you’re interested, you can learn more here.