Thursday, May 7, 2009
Key take-away from this book:
Recognizing opportunity: Turning you great idea into a business strategy is tricky. Motorola’s Iridium was a great idea but not a good business opportunity. On the contrary, 3M’s idea to use weak adhesive to make notepaper stick turned out to be a great business opportunity.
You need to ask yourself “What could we do with this?” Clear understanding of the answer to this question is important.
Your opportunity initially may not be able to capitalize on innovation’s full potential. Marconi invented what earlier called as wireless telegraphy in 1890. It was only in 1922 when first transmission of musical entertainment was made using this and radio was born! Same was with internet.
A method for opportunity recognition: Many innovators either fail to recognize opportunity or overestimate them. To understand the likelihood that customer will be attracted to a new product, there is a technique mentioned in this book called buyer utility map. It focuses on innovation’s utility – How it will change the lives of customers. It is a matrix between ‘The Six Utility Leavers’ and ‘The Six Stages of Buyer Experience Cycle
This matrix can be used for:
· Locating new product
· Improving Existing product
· Positioning new product or repositioning existing products
· Market research
This is used to assess the utility of an innovative idea. Ask yourself the following question:
Where can we create the greatest utility for our customers? Dose our idea fills this space?
Is the utility higher or lower than the utility created by the products and services offered by our competitors?
Which of these utilities matters most to customers?
How could we redesign our product or service idea to offer the greatest utility to customers in the area that matters most to them?
For more information on buyer utility, please leave a comment and I will try to get back as soon as possible.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Very often corporate fail to understand this and the product and services that they offer are merely a product or service and never become experience. iPhone is not just a phone. It’s an experience.
If you need to change your life, you need to first find out what experiences you want to have and then work on them. If you want to change your stagnant business, you need to find what experience people want to have and provide it to them.
Once you know what experience you are looking to build, it’s time to design that experience. Experience is intangible but what makes this happen is a tangible design. Everything around us is a design. Some are bad some are good. One definition of design is ‘Plan something for a specific role or purpose or effect’. For designing, you need to have a specific goal in mind. If this goal meets the requirement of what experience you want to have out of it, it’s a good design. While designing your product or service, you should understand what experience your prospective customers want to have. The other definition of design is ‘The act of working out the form of something’. In all it’s about process as well as product or service.
Design has two perspectives. One is linked with feelings and other with functionality. You should always design in such a way that both these perspectives are fulfilled. This is equally applicable to one’s personal life too.
Design is not something accidental. The process that one needs to follow for design is: first you need to define your goals, conduct research, specify the requirements, develop it, test it, implement it and evaluate it. To redesign, follow the same process and analyze your current design on the same line. Avoid unnecessary complications while designing and explore multiple ways to design. Prototyping and initial market research have proven to be wonderful to estimate your design.
Earlier, industries like music, games, and movies were termed as creative industries. Today every organization need to be creative and ensure that their design represents what is unmet or unrealized.
While designing, ensure that you don’t do any early judgment to eliminate the fear of failure and encourage maximum input for ideation process. Diverge, converge and articulate. Design is subject to personal taste but focusing on creativity, ambidextrous thinking, teamwork, end-user and curiosity has often provided best results.
Monday, April 13, 2009
It is natural and necessary to make assumptions about our routine activities else we will end up spending all our time analyzing the mundane things. But the implication of this is that we only see what we want or expect to see.
The real problem arises when we make false assumptions. We will end up living with these false assumptions unless our experience proves them wrong. Challenging your assumptions is an important component of creativity. This allows you to look beyond what is obvious or already accepted. And it leads straight to the creative breakthroughs you're looking for.
For solving any problem or improving the way you are currently operating by generating creative ideas, first thing you need to do is list down all the assumptions. Consider all of them. Don’t judge. Remember differing judgment that I posted few days back.
Secondly, reverse all the assumptions. If you want to start a restaurant, common assumption will be like 1. A restaurant will have to serve the food or 2. You will have to charge for the food that you serve in your restaurant. If I reverse these assumptions they will be 1. A restaurant that will not serve the food and 2. A restaurant that will serve the food for free. Interesting. Isn’t it!
Assumption reversal is a left-brain technique. Most people feel most comfortable using their left-brain, so this technique builds confidence in their creativity and gradually breaks them into the creative thinking process.
Now you need to do some amount of brainstorming. You will have to generate as many as possible ideas in order to achieve your reversed assumptions.
You can have a restaurant where food is not served. Customers will carry their own food and will pay for the ambiance and experience that they will have their or the restaurant will offer some of the food items for free and customer will pay for the time that they spent in the restaurant.
This visionary technique rests upon the following ideas:
1. All assumptions are false.
2. All assumptions are limiting.
3. All assumptions are reversible.
4. You have to make assumptions.
The future is often a reverse of the assumptions of the present. Reverse current perspectives and actions and you have generated a vision of what could be. Assumptions structure social reality. Change your assumptions and you change your reality. Different assumptions produce different consequences. If you like the consequences, you should accept the new assumptions. If the reversed assumption reduces cost, increases quality and improves access, go with it. If the consequence produces the opposite, discard it. Typically, a group has great fun with this visionary technique. It results in vigorous exchanges over the possibility of the reversals.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
At first you will find it difficult to change your normal routine activities or habits. Try wearing the watch in other hand for a day and you will realize. Take a different route to work. Try to be silent during the discussion and just understand what others are doing. You can’t change everything around you. Like, you can’t afford to drive on the left side of the road if you are in US. Start with small. Try changing you sleep hours or may be brushing your teeth with left hand if you are right handed.
You might think why I should change something if I am comfortable doing it the way I do it? The answer is, because you need to gain more insight into what you do physically. “If you will do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.”
A day will come when machines will have emotions. Will you be able to compete with them then? What will differentiate a man and a machine? You might get shocked the day you will hear this news. Just try to be prepared for that day.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Our brain tries to put everything in order. It always tries to make meaning out of something meaningless. It has bad habit of judging. This is intrinsic. The problem is that it’s because of this habit, we the so called grownups lacks the creativity. When we were child, rather than judging, we use to ask questions. Please don’t ignore when next time your child ask what, why or how.
Today we really lack the capability of giving ideas that a child can give. Doesn’t matter how absurd or impractical the idea is, what really matters is how we can make sense out of that. Rather than judging, what primary education needs to teach is how to build over what you think.
In various official meetings I have often seen people judging others view point. By doing this you put a full stop to one great idea. Rather than saying its right or wrong, we should learn to leave it open for discussion. Not decision.
At some point it is important to take immediate decisions. If you are at decision making position in your organization and don’t show this trait, you are in a difficult situation. Well, what I want to say is making defer judgment part of your daily life and slowly you will understand how to shorten the time to reach judgment based on situation.
Whenever IDEO works on any project, they first explore the problem from different perspective. They have multi functional/multi domain people working on their projects. Once the problem is dismantled, it becomes easy for you to reach the solution. Rather I must say best solution.
Please don’t mix sitting on a problem and deferring judgment.
Try and observe as many things as you can around you. Just don’t judge. Do this for some time and feel the difference yourself. Decide a colour each day and see how often you can notice it around you. Believe me you will be amazed. Good luck.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
They scrambled to their feet when they saw him.
“You’ve set us an impossible task, sir,” said the oldest of the disciples. “It’s just not possible to fill a sieve with water.”
“Are you sure?” asked the Teacher, picking up the sieve. “Sometimes it helps to step back and view the problem from a different angle.”
He waded into the water and threw the sieve far out into the sea. It sank.
“There!” said the Teacher. “It’s full of water now.”
It is very important to look at a problem from different angles in order to find the best solution, with this attitude we can see that there is no problem that has no solution!