Mow Your Lawn In Half The Time!
· 33” mowing width
· Macho drive wheels
· 4 speed plus reverse
· Zero-turning radius
· Low front deck
· Mulching cut
· Trim on both sides
· Proven faster and better than a riding mower!
Of The Curve!
Beware of lazy market research! Users of current products often don’t
know they want a new and better concept. (Electricity, telephones, and transistors
initially met with a reaction of “huh?”)
In the case of this Wide-Cut
mower, we had a good gut feel but no support from
surveys. People just couldn't imagine it. Only after
we demonstrated a working prototype and created the
brochure did the public say, “Wow! I want
New Product Brings $10 Million Per Year In Revenues
For Troy-Bilt/ Garden Way, we invented an entirely
new concept in lawn mowing, then helped other departments develop
and implement it into a $10mm/year profit machine.
The concept was simple: To create “The fastest
lawn mower in town.” If you’ve seen one of those $2,500
commercial “run-behind” mowers that turn on a dime and
zip under and around shrubs, you know what we mean. The two questions
· Can a home-user version of that be made for half the price?
· Will anybody buy it?
With a $1,250 price being more than most riding mowers, experts
doubted that people would buy a walking mower like this.
From Brainstorm To Boardroom
Conventional research was unable to give confident answers until
a working prototype was made. So we invented one, using 95% of the
parts from existing company products or other industry suppliers.
It worked great; a short sales video was produced, showing its features
and benefits; key department heads were given test drives.
One by one, departments from Marketing to Engineering
got on board with the idea. But it wasn’t until a key executive
meeting that the CEO gave the go-ahead after the Chief Financial
Officer (a mild-mannered little fellow with a figurative green eye
shade) said, “Wicker’s business plan looks good. We’ve
got a working product design and it looks like it can sell. Let’s
Development accelerated. The prototype was greatly
improved for ease of production and cost efficiency, market research
confirmed that our gut feel had been right all along, and the company
geared up for the launch. The “Wide-Cut” mower hit the
market by storm and was soon bringing in over $10 million in sales
This was a good example of how creative innovation
and sound planning came together with excellent execution. The success
was due to the teamwork of many departments and hundreds of people
Footnote: The Wide-Cut earned an estimated
$100,000,000 in sales through 2001, right up until the Garden Way
company fell on hard times and its assets were sold to MTD of Cleveland.
But you can still buy the Wide-Cut at your local MTD/Cub Cadet dealer.
And we still have the original prototype out in our barn.
Back to more Portfolio
(Or go forward to Next Page to see Gold In
The Filing Cabinet.)
Birth Of A Winner!
this pile of parts propped up on milk crates came
the idea that would bring in millions in profits.
first working prototype was called “BigMow”.
It was used as the photo model for the business plan,
a sales video, market research, and personal demonstrations
Numerous departments and talented people then collaborated to bring it to production,
where it was an immediate success.