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Why didn’t somebody think of it before? Creating a new market

A vendor hawks votive paper along a street in downtown Hanoi on January 8, 2014.

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Creating a new market

One of the greatest assets an entrepreneur can have is the ability to sniff out an unmet demand. If you have that, and the money to capitalize on it, congratulations. You have the tools to create a new market.

One entrepreneur who qualified is Daymond John, founder and CEO of the clothing company FUBU, which helped establish a market for urban apparel. John, a panelist on the entrepreneurial reality show "Shark Tank," said his customers were always out there, but few saw them as a consumer base to be catered to.

"I realized that there was an opportunity when Cross Colors, Karl Kani and Walker Wear started to address this market," he said in an email. "I knew there was an overall movement being created and people would want to have more than one option."

Today, enough people wear urban apparel that one must conclude that John was right. But 20 years ago, it wasn't so clear, and he said that no matter how good your instincts are, creating a new market is always an exercise that requires taking a leap of faith.

"You can assume how great your product is," he said. "But until you actually go out and sell and people come back to reorder and reorder and reorder … you will never know if a consumer truly wants to reach in their pocket and buy your product."

Read ahead and find out about the entrepreneurs whose products created new markets.

By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 21 Jan. 2013

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Image Source: Hoang Dinh Nam | AFP | Getty Images