Product Strategy and Innovation Blog

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

The Birth of Predictable Innovation: How to Achieve Profitable Growth Every Time


Surgeons in an operating room. Many benefited from the stent, developed by Cordis through the Outcome-Driven Innovation process and resulting growth strategy.

Early in my career as a product engineer, I experienced the ultimate professional disappointment: for 18 months I put my heart and soul into creating a product that failed in the marketplace.

It was 1984, and I was part of the IBM PCjr development team. We were working on a product that was supposed … Read on

Innovation Excellence – 6 Criteria


Companies often reach out to tell us they are not satisfied with their innovation process. They lack confidence in the offerings they are taking to market and feel they are running out of new ideas for growth. They lament that they have trained people in the latest thinking (e.g., Design Thinking, Human Centered Design…etc.) but that it has not made a measurable impact on their success. They ask, what is wrong with our process? Our question back to them is “how do … Read on

How to Save Design Thinking


Design Thinking is all the rage. It’s cool, it’s hip – it makes the ordinary company feel like Apple. Many companies have rushed to hire people with Design Thinking expertise. They have brought in trainers to train their people to think like Design Thinkers. But Design Thinking has an almost fatal flaw that needs fixing. If not, it will fade away like prior management fads (remember Theory Z). But take heart, there is hope. The roots of Design Thinking started in the … Read on

Scaling Excellence: Go Slow to Go Fast


In their recent book called “Scaling Up Excellence” Bob Sutton and Huggy Rao share a key insight that companies should embrace as they build excellence into their organization: at times, it makes sense to go slow so that in the future a company can go fast. You are probably familiar with this concept from the world of carpentry where the mantra is to “measure twice and cut once”. But in today’s fast-paced world, slowing down seems to be at odds with success. … Read on

Product Managers Are Obsolete; Focus on the Job-to-be-Done


Product Managers are essential to a company’s success. In fact, a recent McKinsey article referred to them as “mini-CEOs” since they are responsible for what is arguably the biggest contributor to a company’s success and growth–its products. While the role of the product manager is critical, we feel that the title “product manager” is a legacy of outdated business thinking. We therefore advocate doing away with the traditional product manager and propose a new title and responsibility. What’s wrong with product managers? The … Read on

Your Market is Bigger Than You Think


  Companies often define the markets they serve around the technology in their product offerings or the products themselves. This is a convenient way to simplify communication to outsiders. It is easy to explain, for example, that your company is in the drivetrain market, or the lithium ion battery market. However for purposes of long-term growth and innovation, this can be a tragic mistake. That’s because technologies come and go and all solutions will one day become obsolete. What will become of … Read on

Jobs-to-be-Done and the Internet of Things


The Internet of Things, according to Wikipedia, allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.  The vision of the Internet of Things has evolved due to a convergence of multiple technologies, including ubiquitous wireless communication, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. How will you and your organization capitalize on this opportunity?… Read on
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