Innovation Management Wisdom

Skate to Where the Puck Will Be in New Product Development

February 8th, 2017

Here’s a tried and true way to skate to the white space where the new product development puck will be.

  1. Mine your existing customer data.
  2. Build an algorithmic model that predicts the puck’s path in the future, based on past observations.

This approach is quantitatively driven, but, hmmm. Something’s missing…managerial judgment maybe?

On second thought, maybe we should try something new in new product development. Try this…

  1. Look at your existing customer and market data.
  2. Delete obsolete data and conclusions. (The method for doing this is simple. Just complete this sentence, “We’d be delusional to believe this is still so because…”).
  3. Take a SWAG at what you-know-you-don’t-know about customers. (Here’s a starter list: How have buyers been affected by current events? Global warming? Politics? Online reviews of your products? What Apple just did?)
  4. Stop looking at the ice underneath you. Start watching where customers are skating. They have the puck.
  5. Learn what customers are experiencing in their lives, not in your product category. They’re influenced by forces more expansive than your company’s touch points.  (See point 3 above.)
  6. Once you understand why customers are skating in a certain direction you can anticipate where they…and the puck…will be.

Entry Filed under: Product Development


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