For years, businesses have relied on their customers to tell them what they want, but is it time for change? An article from Information Age takes a quick look at why the customer might not always be right.
Ask a customer what they want, and they’ll tell you how to make what they currently have better. But an innovator seeks to create something beyond what exists today. Jonathan Ive, who assisted in the design of the iPhone, said they almost scrapped the project altogether because they believed the touch screen didn’t work well enough for the customers to adopt a new type of phone. They believed that customers wouldn’t be able to understand the potential “from having a phone with a screen taking up the entire front.” We would later come to realize with the emergence of fast, wireless internet, the iPhone was exactly what we wanted and needed.
Similarly, no one asked for a small cylinder that relays the weather, tells you the next step in your recipe, or plays music when you ask it to. Yet, the Amazon Echo exists and has paved the way for companies to explore and create the virtual assistant.
In her speech Dump the Junk, Susan Reed addresses the most common missteps that organizations face today when trying to innovate. Reed speaks to the idea that relying on customer feedback at the beginning of your innovation process can narrow possibilities way too soon. Instead, gain customer feedback after you’ve created your big idea and allow them to poke holes and strengthen your concept.
Like the iPhone and Amazon Echo, create game-changing innovations by thinking big first, and engaging customer feedback second. Because if you start by following market research you’ll just get “better sameness, not revolutionary change.” So, take a look at the whole video below to see how to Dump the Junk in your innovation strategy and use customer feedback productively.