In 1983, our top executive at the time happened to run into a medical specialist at an airport. He asked the doctor, "What kind of medication do you want?" The doctor replied, "A medication that makes patients pass only water." I heard that the executive seized on the idea and immediately directed our staff to develop a medication that would do that.
The product took 26 years to develop. What I didn't count on was that I would be put in charge of marketing it! Being the world's first with no comparable product before it, there was no marketing knowhow that we could draw on, and we had to go in blind, which made things very challenging. When I was first appointed as the Japanese product manager, I was ordered to go overseas to promote the product - In English. It was a very difficult start, and I've been running at full speed ever since.