We have worked with King Research on several projects. On one project, on 3D displays, we decided not to invest in the company based upon the data received in a series of focus groups we conducted across the US. Although the product was interesting, potential customers would have needed to significantly change their usage patterns before there could be broad market acceptance. Until that happens, customers weren’t willing to take a step back on some display attributes (like image quality) in order to gain the diffuse benefits of the 3D display capabilities we were testing.
On another project, King Research helped validate the product plan of a company in which we were investing. That was absolutely essential given this particular company’s history of product marketing boo boos.
King Research helps companies avoid the number one problem of venture-backed companies, i.e., they build the wrong product. As VCs we really want to avoid being stuck with the whole burn rate of a company while engineering feverishly labors to change the product under differing directives from the sales group and the marketing group (neither of which know what the customers really want).
John Oxaal, General Partner, Sevin Rosen Funds, Palo Alto, CA