My mother used to tell me as a child that if I saw any need, I would have to meet that need. This is our main goal as entrepreneurs. We look at the requirements and meet them, however, any entrepreneur knows that research is the key to the process and validity of the next million-dollar idea discovery. As Albert Szent-Gyorgyi once said, “Research is about seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking about what others think.” As I reflect that quote, I think it’s quite powerful and innovative. It contains the essence of entrepreneurship. We look at the world and think of things that no one else thinks of and that could be the solution to a big problem in a thinking culture or society.
Personally, I like the research process. It’s exciting to have an idea and find a way to turn that idea into reality, it’s like a game. We had to do this in depth with our new company Resense targeting neurodegenerative disease through our main product memory box. We had this wild idea to benefit people with dementia when creating memory boxes. So, we started the research process. We are now beginning to see what treatments are available, what therapies have proven to be, and what medications are beneficial. Everyone else is trying to figure out what that one thought is [idea] That’s what no one else thinks.
My favorite part of the research process was interviewing professionals in the field. These included psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, caregivers and dementia counselors. Although quite difficult, this process has proven to be convenient for Resense and navigation of memory boxes. I’m a very sophisticated person in college, with no qualifications… just a very driven and curious person. Networking has always been fun for me, however, I found it difficult to find contacts in my circle who I am one of the professionals listed above. So, I went to social media, especially LinkedIn and Facebook. I told my story and requested a 15-30 minute interview with anyone who would give me a chance. Looking back, I’ve been able to count and I’ve sent over 300 LinkedIn invitations to connect and post my story on more than 20 Facebook groups of caregivers and caregivers living in dementia. I took a chance and paid tenfold. I soon realized something that I will never forget: if someone is interested or enthusiastic about something, they will tell you everything about it, think about it and help you with your needs. These interviews were informative and as soon as I did them I felt like I was drinking from a firehouse. When I interviewed psychiatrists and psychologists I learned everything about the scientific, psychological aspects of the disease, medicine, and current care practices and felt like I was getting a crash course on anything related to dementia.
I went through the research process with the goal of learning everything about Alzheimer’s and dementia. I wanted to understand it inside and out and I was able to do it. It has been helpful, but surprisingly, neither psychologists nor PhDs have taught me the most. I learned the most from caring and caring counselors. Think of them as front row workers, they see everything that goes on every day, while some psychologists can see residents or individuals once a week. I have told countless personal stories of loved ones who have become the primary caregivers of their parents. I learned about their daily lives, schedules, and activities. These stories were so special but sad. It was sad to see this disease take away these precious memories from these people. That’s when we realized that our product is more than just a tool to increase memory recall. It was a tool to help people with dementia discover long-term memories, as well as allow new opportunities for family members and loved ones to create new memories. The disease is one that currently has no cure, but we can help ensure that these people are as comfortable as they can progress the disease.
At the end of the process, we finally got that “thought” that no one else had. We have learned that there is a parallel relationship between senses and memory loss. So we created the memory box. It is a well-collected collection of various products targeting each sense as a whole, which enhances brain health and reveals long-term memories. We designed it to act as a transient tool between home and care or to serve as a “conversation / activity box” for all residents during activity sessions. The memory box provides endless opportunities to engage residents and their loved ones in a meaningful way that was our main goal and has become our goal: to bring comfort and joy to those living in dementia.
So, I intended this article to encourage people to do research on anything and everything. I know how scary and frustrating it can be. When I wrote this, I didn’t realize how important research was for our company: without it, we would never have created a memory box. Without research, we would never have known how the senses affect memory, or how much more effective activity of daily life is for caregivers than patients or loved ones. Research has created Resense. We went through the process with a goal in mind and went beyond learning something we never thought or expected. I hope if you read this and have an idea in the back of your head that you think could be the next million dollar idea, You go for it… but research first. You never know what you might learn!