Product Strategy and Innovation Blog

Why brainstorming is overrated and innovation should be boring


I recently came across yet another innovation promo video from a leading multinational manufacturer. 

You know the one: very professionally produced, with a slick mix of the obligatory out-of-focus, slow-motion, zoomed-in camera shots. A group of young, attractive “creatives” in scarves, manicured beards, and brightly colored glasses, in the throes of a high-energy brainstorming session.

“IDEAS” is prominently drawn in block letters on the wall, surrounded by a web of lines, arrows, more … Read on

How to See the World Like a Born Innovator (Part 3)


Have you ever wished that the process of innovation could be more reliable? Predictable? Scalable? 

That it was easier to dream up the new products or features that your customers would go crazy for?

That you could come up with brilliant ideas like we’ve seen from Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and other “born innovators”?

As it turns out, innovation can be predictable, and you can think like the … Read on

How to See the World Like a Born Innovator (Part 2)


I hate to break it to you (again), but you are probably not a born innovator like Edison, Jobs or Ford. They’re exceedingly rare. 

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t think like one. It’s a choice. A lens you can choose to put on. 

This innovation lens is based on the Jobs-to-be-Done theory and understanding the 5 types of jobs customers are trying to complete when they use … Read on

You Need More than Intuition for Successful Innovations


One brand we’ve worked with keeps adding features to their products without knowing for sure if they’ll sell or not.

Another has made pivotal decisions about where to innovate their product line based on what they’re good at.  

A third came up with a new product in their incubation lab—it looked interesting enough on the surface, but no one is buying it.

Do these scenarios sound familiar? They should. We … Read on

How to See the World Like a Born Innovator (Part 1)


Thomas Edison. Steve Jobs. Ben Franklin. Henry Ford.

Some people are born innovators. They innately understand how to come up with solutions that solve our challenges in new and better ways. 

The first product Thomas Edison produced was a failure—it was a voting tabulation machine that the legislation didn’t want. He famously said after that, I will never again build a product people don’t want. And he didn’t. 

How did … Read on

Innovation Inspiration: Why Your Expert May be No Better than a Monkey


Team brainstorms innovation ideas with scrum post-it board.

“…the average expert was roughly as accurate as a dart-throwing chimpanzee.”

—Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner, in their masterwork, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

If the average expert is only as accurate as a dart-throwing primate, why should we hire experts? Why are those who have invested years developing comprehensive knowledge and skill no better than someone with limited or potentially none at … Read on

Innovation Inspiration: Why You Need to Throw Away Your Idea List Today


Man contemplates a full board of his innovation ideas.

“To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction. One is a disorganized directory and the other is an organized directive.”

—Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams, entrepreneur and best-selling author

Idea Lists are long. Success Lists are short.

Idea Lists pull us in … Read on

Innovation Inspiration: Why You Need to Produce Masterpieces, Not Me-Toos


“The more books we read, the clearer it becomes that the true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.”

—Cyril Connolly, literary critic and writer

Today’s innovation inspiration comes from the world of writing.

To adapt Cyril’s words, the more solutions I see, the clearer it becomes that the true function of an innovator is to … Read on

How to Define Your Brand’s Growth Strategy with Jobs-to-Be-Done


Woman looks at iPhone that used a differentiated growth strategy to win in the market.

You need to evolve your product line and grow your business. But how will you go about getting there?

Add a new feature set to your existing offering? Develop a new low-cost product? Create a new platform-level solution that gets the job done significantly better? Or significantly cheaper?Something else entirely?

It can seem like a guessing game.

Read on
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