The GS Venture application form for project review contains the section “Advantages of the project over other equal projects”. But we often have to deal with authors claiming their product, service or method have no equals. What does it mean and can it do any good for the presented project? What kind of reaction does it cause in experts? Let’s take a closer look.
People often say, “Something has no equals,” when they actually mean that something is absolutely unique and authentic. But sometimes one has the impression that this phrase has just become a mere exaggeration and is considered an indispensable compliment to any novel project. Once people have something new that others don’t have, they’ll immediately mark it as “having no equals/analogues.”
Let’s look up in the dictionary for the synonyms of “analogue”.
An analogue: correspondent, parallel, alternative, equivalent, similar, a sort of, type.
This means an analogue can be understood not only as an equivalent but also as something similar.
Since the discussion has touched upon innovations, developments and inventions, let’s see how “similar invention” is described in different sources.
– A famous invention or technical solution of the same problem, similar in its technical nature, and, thus, having features identical and/or equivalent to some essential features of the invention at a priority date.
– Technical solution to the same problem known at the date of priority of invention.
In other words:
- An analogue may have only SOME of the features of an invention;
- An analogue can be characterized by the features only SIMILAR to those of an invention;
- An analogue may simply be ANOTHER SOLUTION to the problem solved by the invention.
Let’s say, a shovel with a laser sight and an immobilizer was developed. Are there any analogues? Well, maybe there are none with a laser sight and an immobilizer but people will dig the ground after all, although in a simple way. So, this tool will be the closest analogue of our invention. Another analogue could be a set consisting of a traditional shovel, a laser sight and an immobilizer (if someone might use such a set).
Investors are interested namely in the benefits of the integrated, alternative or improved, or even a brand new solution when compared to already existing (although incomplete) analogues. If it’s obvious that the problem can be solved without it, what does the claim “it has no equals” mean for an investor? It means that the inventor simply hasn’t thought of analogues, and did this on purpose, so there’s nothing to compare his invention with.
A typical situation: there is an analogue, and its consumer properties are 2 times worse, but it is 5 times cheaper. Will this new product be in demand?
Now, the most interesting part. Let’s suppose the invention really has no other equals at all of any other kind, which is quite disturbing. This can mean that the problem that’s solved by an invention doesn’t actually exist. Otherwise, it would’ve been solved some way. Or there’s a particular problem and no solution, but people have coexisted without solving it. Therefore, it will be extremely difficult to prove to the consumers that they do need to solve it.
If there are analogues, then there are no problems. You can compare and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, costs, prospects to make everything more or less clear.
If there are no analogues – there are certain problems and you will have to prove why the solution will be in demand and why this particular problem hasn’t been solved before since there’s nothing to relate and compare it to.
Perhaps, it’s better to not create problems but to find analogues and present your own development compared to these analogues that will be easier and more effective.