Modern “Jobs-to-be-Done” thinking began with the most popular HBR article ever written: Ted Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia.” It begins this way: “Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are not riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others, which are thought of as seasoned growth ... Read More
Blog Category: Innovation
In a whispered voice, a B2B business executive confided to me that his company seldom spent more than $10k on their product launches… even after spending hundreds of thousands developing the product. This isn’t launching a product. This is kicking it off the loading dock and hoping someone finds it.
More in article, Stop Squandering Your Product Launch Budget
In Level 1, you start with your ideas and launch products you think customers will want. In Level 2, you still start with your ideas, but “validate” them with customers. In Level 3, you start with customer needs, using divergent and convergent interviews. You uncover a full range of outcomes and only work on those customers care about.
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 7).
The first is inherited growth from products launched long ago, which now “carry” your business. The second is market growth… the tide that lifts all boats. You can only impact the third—earned growth—by doing a better job than every competitor in understanding and meeting the needs of a market. This means it’s easy to be lulled into thinking your underlying growth is greater than it is.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 14).
You can miss an important customer need… pursue the wrong need… over-design and add unneeded costs… measure customer success the wrong way… overlook a competing alternative… over-estimate what customers will pay… under-value your product… use improper messaging. So many chances to err. Fortunately, B2B producers can use a “science” to avoid all of these.
More in article, How to Avoid New-Product Commercial Risk
In the last century, Detroit automakers fell behind Japanese competitors in the Quality Wave. Later, we saw winners and losers in the Productivity Wave. We’re now in the Innovation Wave, with huge consequences. Some B2B companies will win by moving innovation from “hope” into a new science.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave
Imagine a project that leads to new product sales of $5 million per year, with average profit margins. What’s the net present value of launching this product just one month earlier? $80,000! That’s $4000 per business day. Think we could use a little more “innovation urgency”? Consider three ways business leaders can accelerate projects… First, ... Read More
Do you have a true team… or just some “emissaries visiting from foreign functional areas”? Winning teams share these traits: a) Management signals this work is a top priority, b) the team leader is enthusiastic and capable, c) team success impacts personal performance reviews, and d) the team members want to be part of this team.
More in article, What’s Restraining Your Growth? Your Time Horizon
We are all unique, or we think we are, with this problem: our products are becoming more and more like commodities. You know, gasoline, steel, top soil. Our superior product dreams are trampled by the heavy feet of commoditization. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun to tout the amazing technical wizardry in the annual ... Read More
You’re developing your customer’s new product. It’s like this: “Mr. Customer, we’ve assembled a team aimed at developing something you’ll love. As you can see, we even brought a lead R&D person with us to listen to you. So can you tell us everything you think we should know before we going into our labs? We want to get this right so the innovation makes you a hero at work.”
More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?