“Currently, something on the order of 70% to 95% of new product launches fail. Why these launches fail has been a mystery to most people. Until now. Multidimensional Economics offers deep insight here. By uncovering market maps and the self-organizing behavior of the buyers in the market, ME lets producers see what clients want, do not have, and can afford. To date, most producers guess at what people want. From now on, they can know. Over time, this will reduce product failures and help grow economies worldwide.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Howarth, the CEO and founder of Multidimensional Economic Evaluators (MEE) Inc. Howarth is a Gamechanger in the field of economics and is shaking up the classic paradigm of “The Law of Supply and Demand” with his Multidimensional Economic platform. He was recently a distinguished speaker at NASA for the fourth time.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was out with my wife buying a washing machine. She had a lot to say about them. She said, “You know, we need more capacity than we have now. I would like to be able to do larger loads.” She went on, “And, we need more cycles, too. Ours isn’t too flexible.” Hmm. “Yes, go on,” I encouraged her. “The one we have is noisy,” she relayed to me, walking over to one that caught her fancy. “This one has “Noise Reduction Technology,” and you can get it with a pedestal — I won’t have to bend down to get the clothes in and out.” “What about the next size up in the same line,” I asked. “Too expensive,” she said, “We can’t afford it.” I realized then that she was thinking in several non-negative dimensions at the same time. I thought about it and understood that I did the same thing and assumed everyone does what she just did. She was thinking in a coordinate system that everyone uses, but no one had found. I wondered if I could discover it and prove that we all use it all the time. I did. That’s what brought me to this. And by “this,” I mean the field I discovered by listening to my wife, which I call Multidimensional Economics, or ME. ME observes that all markets form maps and that the buyers in those markets self-organize in ways in which we can characterize and exploit. The company I founded to dispense this knowledge is Multidimensional Economic Evaluators, or MEE, also pronounced “me.” When you ask our people for whom they work, they’ll tell you that they work for MEE.
In my experience as the founder and CEO of MEE Inc., we’ve found the time has come for the world to evolve past the untenable supply and demand economic theory. You can’t solve a problem in two dimensions when it plays out it in four. Our MEE4D statistical market analysis software allows you to analyze the marketplace using four or more variables. It allows you to see how buyers collectively self-organize as they assess products by their features in value space, compared to their willingness to buy them based on prices on the demand plane. Effectively, we have lifted the secret veil of value and taken the mystery out of the markets, proving that economic theory should be based on “Value and Demand.” We have broken the law of supply and demand and have ushered in a new dawn. In the process, we’ve discovered the fourth dimension. And the fifth. And any number of dimensions you care to examine.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
We have a client that wants to use a new plane for aerial firefighting for the United States Forest Service (USFS). While a handful of companies perform this mission for the USFS, our client wanted a Russian plane, the Be-200. As the entire fleet for the USFS originated in the West, we needed to convince the USFS that this Russian plane could not only do the job but do it in a very cost-effective manner. Our analysis showed that the Be-200 was a fantastic deal for US Government. Our client passed our work on to the US Senate, which agreed with our conclusion and in turn gave these results to the US State Department. State, in turn, moved the analysis to high-level officers from Airbus, a large competitor to Boeing, as well as to Russian officials. Airbus agreed to build the Be-200 in the West under license to its Russian designer, Beriev, and lease the planes to our client to fight fires in the US.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In the beginning, I somehow began at what you might characterize as the graduate level of Multidimensional Economic analysis. Early in the development of this field, I figured out how markets worked in four dimensions, then five and finally any number of dimensions. I found myself talking past people and didn’t understand why. The problem, I later figured out, was that I had not devised ways to characterize the foundations of the discipline. I didn’t realize that what I had come upon was a such a dramatic shift in mindset that I had to break it into its constituent building blocks to offer others a way to access the information. And back then I didn’t know what the basic elements of the theory were. I had to discover them, too. Now I understand them. I learned that first principles should come first.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We’re the company that discovered 4D, 5D, and ND analysis, the ability to analyze any number of markets at the same time. We’re the only company offering 4D software which simultaneously compares how prices change along with product features, which we call value, and how those price changes affect quantities sold, which is demand. We generally use product specifications to discover the product value and usually get stellar answers with that approach. Once, after solving for how the value of several features would change the sustainable price for a client’s new product, that client wanted to how the appearance of their product would affect value. They thought their new product was attractive. We created a survey in which we compared 3-view pictures of all the competing products to our client’s along with theirs. Not only was theirs voted among the most attractive, but its appearance also turned out to be a significant effector of added value. At the same time, we proved that their new product would not exceed their market’s ability to absorb it. You cannot reach these conclusions without our methodology.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We have been invited by UCLA Extension to put on a half-day seminar in the Winter Quarter explaining the fundamentals of Multidimensional Economics (ME), in anticipation of creating a quarter-length course at the same institution. Our course will introduce students to the benefits of ME analysis. ME can be used to stop overpricing, underpricing or expecting to sell more than the market will allow. It will also direct students to the products the markets would like, doesn’t have, and can afford. It will make the practitioners of it extremely valuable to their companies. In one example study, in just one day, we found a $100 million error in a large industry. Imagine being able to do that for an employer. Over time, this will reduce product failures and enhance the economy.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
If your employees are good enough to make your team, they are good enough to blaze their trail, given enough instruction. Teach them what to do and let them do it. Most of the time, they’ll do a better job than you thought possible.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am especially grateful to my wife. I knew I had a collection of world-changing ideas on my hand. However, I had a nice, well-paying job, and if I quit it to start my company, I knew I could lose the equivalent of most of my salary for a while if I retired and worked for MEE Inc. full time. So, I in addition to giving the insight that led to this new field, my wife gave me the okay to prove that it works to the entire world. That action meant that she would have to put her retirement off for a while, which she did. It was quite a sacrifice on her part. I could not be where I am without her.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
One of life’s great joys is being able to solve problems no one thought had solutions. Teaching the principles of Multidimensional Economics lets students figure out such issues. They take great pleasure in that, and that’s good.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why.
1. It’s harder than you think. I’ve been working 60–80 hours a week for years. I thought by now it would get easier. It is still hard.
2. Simply having a collection of ideas that will change the world isn’t enough. I’ve found that I must change peoples’ thinking one person at a time. And, even though no one challenged in any of the 12 peer-reviewed papers I’ve authored, I’ve found some people will never change despite the evidence they should. I showed my work to a variety of college professors who can’t disprove my work, but who won’t accept it, either. You must seek out those who seek knowledge.
3. Most people play nice — but not all of them. I spent over 30 years in aerospace, mostly in the defense sector. Most people there are well-screened, reliable and honest. The rest of the world doesn’t uniformly reach that high standard. Be ready for that.
4. You won’t progress quickly enough until you can delegate some clearly defined goals to people who can accomplish them for the team. Proper delegation is a key to timely progress.
5. If you have a service that applies to all industries, do not try to chase all industries at the same time. Find a few key sectors to target to spread your opportunities and go after those.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have started a movement that will bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people. Currently, something on the order of 70% to 95% of new product launches fail. Why these launches fail has been a mystery to most people. Until now. Multidimensional Economics offers deep insight here. By uncovering market maps and the self-organizing behavior of the buyers in the market, ME lets producers see what clients want, do not have, and can afford. To date, most producers guess at what people want. From now on, they can know. Over time, this will reduce product failures and help grow economies worldwide.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have two. The first one is from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. He noted that “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” When I first told some people about a 4D economic system existed for every market since the beginning of time, instead of getting the deep understanding for which I had hoped, what I got instead was chuckles. No one wanted to believe it. Gradually, as I started issuing peer-reviewed papers, the laughter died, but the opposition to my work began to rise. In Schopenhauer’s worldview, I am still in that second stage. What more people will begin to realize, as several who have read me now do, is that to argue against what I have found is akin to arguing with your GPS. Your GPS finds your altitude, longitude, and latitude, described as your point in space. ME finds the analogous points in economic space. You don’t debate your navigation system. Why would you dispute ME?
My second favorite life lesson quote comes from the lyrics of a song called “The Walls Came Down” by The Call, an American band out of Santa Cruz, California. They wrote, and the lead singer Michael Been shouted as he sang, “They stood there laughing! They’re not laughing anymore!” It reminds me I made it out of Schopenhauer’s first phase. I’ll make it out of the second.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Kobe Bryant. He rapidly made the transition from basketball superstar to an investor with his partner, Chris Sacca. Kobe calls this venture “13,” not because that was ever his number, but because that was his draft position. He couldn’t and still can’t believe the NBA drafted 12 guys ahead of him. Who could? Over two decades later, that still gets his goat, but, at the same time, it probably helped drive him to greatness. He appreciates not being appreciated. I’m sure he has some insights and inspiration he can offer me in this and other regards. Plus, my kids love him!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Thanks for having me. I very much enjoyed it.
Originally published at medium.com