Wow - what an episode the Big Break legacy episode six was!
The teams were set a huge task by the head of the IDC's Agro-processing Division.
Building on the Megatrend of a longer and healthier life, each team needed to develop a healthy Fast Moving Consumer Good (FMCG) for the South African retail market.
The teams were advised to think broadly about the business model and not just the product.
The end-rpoduct was to be high quality and cost effective in terms of production.
This supports the IDC's focus on agro-processing, which is seen as a labour intensive industry in South Africa.
The task started almost at the source, with teams heading to the Johannesburg fresh fruit and vegetable market to procure their raw ingredients.
Along with some cash, MTN Business-in-a-Box, and motor vehicles from Chevrolet, each team would also have time with a food technologist.
It seemed from the outset that Team Newton's 4th had the advantage; Jared - the “Blue Chip” from episode 5 elected to join this team - and Ntokozo boasted 10 years experience as a food technologist.
Letsatsi Inc was clearly the underdog and the smart money was clearly on Newton's 4th.
Team's dived into the task and once again seemed to avoid doing any serious market research.
Given the advise from the IDC to consider the business model and concept and not just the product, this was a surprising strategy for both teams.
Their ideas were largely developed as they walked around the fruit and vegetable market early the following morning, and Newton's 4th “found” their idea after some slick selling from a persistent persimmon purveyor!
Letsatsi Inc seemed to gain some ideas from the market, but Adele clearly saved the day by thinking innovatively and with an end market in mind.
While each team headed for the kitchen and starting mixing and grinding their fruit and vegetables, what was really needed was some effort at considering the business model.
Business models are very much in vogue right now, with the book Business Model Generation one of the best sellers in this expanding field.
A business model refers to the manner in which a business makes its money.
This is not always self evident; for example most printer companies (such as HP or Canon) make money out of selling ink cartridges once you have bought the printer.
Thus the cost of the device is often low, as the manufacturer knows that once you have their printer you can only buy their cartridges.
The authors of Business Model Generation have taken this a step further buy identifying nine interrelated areas that need to be considered when designing a scalable, sustainable and profitable business model.
While both teams needed to consider all aspects of the business model for the task at hand, they would have been well advised to spend time discussing their target market and the value proposition (why the customer chooses to buy from you).
Neither team seemed to take the time to understand their customer's needs and wants; Letsatsi Inc did however strike a clever market niche in recognising that kids hate vegetables but love ice cream, hence - you got it, vegetable ice cream.
Newton's 4th, with all their advantage fell into making vegetable juices.
Worrying was the words of wisdom from the lead leader - Ntokozo after tasting his team's creations - 'there are worse juices out there' he proclaimed.
Really Ntokozo? This is hardly the stuff to inspire investors in your entrepreneurial dream.
Team's all put some great efforts into branding and packaging and the action in the kitchen reached a fever pitch as recipes were tested and checked with chef's from Pick 'n Pay's Good Food Studio.
The day of the presentation to the Big Break Legacy Board and a panel from the Industrial Development Corporation arrived and each time took their turn in the boardroom.
Letsatsi Inc delivered an excellent presentation with great packaging ideas and some amused raised eyebrows at the product and different flavours.
Their research shown through as they showed distribution channels and in-store merchandising.
The team's target market definition was a little unsure; they had rightly seen children as their consumers but had not fully appreciated that parents might be the purchasers.
Selling to children is a challenge; increasingly companies are looking directly to kids to get an understanding of how to access the over $100 billion industry that is focussed on child-based buying decisions.
Phillip Kotler, doyen of marketing at Northwestern University says its not different to selling to adults - its largely about creating empathy in the mind of the consumer.
It was not time for Newton's 4th to pitch their healthy juice concept.
All I could think was that the team had done an outstanding job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. With everything going for them, the team tanked.
The concept was bland and lacked innovation, the packaging was lacklustre (fresh juice from a brown cardboard carton?), and the team had not considered their market, distribution or the role of the retailer.
The judges read the situation well and awarded the challenge to Letsatsi Inc.
Many entrepreneurs dream of having a Fast Moving Consumer Good on the shelves of a major retail chain, however, this challenge showed how hard that journey can be if you fail to innovate and consider the complete business model. New product development strategies are being replaced with radical and disruptive innovation.
This kind of innovation differs in that it creates a anew market and value network and serves to disrupt existing markets and networks.
Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor and disruptive innovation through leader ad guru says that most new innovations come from new companies, as established layers find it increasingly harder to innovate as they become more bureaucratic.
This should be good news for entrepreneurs, who can take some inspiration from Edwin Land, co-founder of Polaroid who said 'it's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.
Dr Jonathan Marks is a senior lecturer and Director of the full-time MBA programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He teaches, researches and consults in the field of entrepreneurship and family business.