Awkward Reality #475

Can customers help you create a new-to-the-world product? Sure. If you know how to ask.


Could customers help with a product as radical as iTunes or iPod? They’d probably be hopeless on solutions… but helpful on outcomes: access a broad range of music, instantly purchase music, transport music anywhere, purchase single tunes, store music on multiple devices, etc. These would be great insights for any solution-provider.

More in 2-minute video at 18. Avoid the ‘Faster Horse’ Fallacy

Awkward Reality #474

Awkward Reality #473

Will customers tell you what they want? That depends on how you ask.


Think of a great radio interview. Did the host say, “I have 10 questions about your book”? Or did he listen carefully, asking wonderful questions? Did these questions cause the guest to think deeply? Did the guest enjoy the stimulating exchange, even thanking the host? This is how you learn what competitors miss. Check out our What-Why-Clarify probing method that’s part of Everyday VOC training.

More in white paper, Everyday VOC

Awkward Reality #472

Expect more out of your interview with a hydraulic hose buyer than with a garden hose buyer.


You can have an intelligent, peer-to-peer conversation about pressure ratings, fluid specifications, etc. And expect greater B2B interest vs. B2C, since your innovations can help the hydraulics engineer become a hero with his next new product. Without innovative suppliers like you, his path to recognition is a difficult one. The more you understand B2B vs. B2C, the more you can “take advantage of your B2B advantages.”

More in white paper, B2B vs. B2C

Awkward Reality #471

Customer value is only created when an important, unmet customer outcome is improved. Period.


Sure, you can develop products that you find exciting. But unless these products address something customers find important and unsatisfied, don’t expect them to buy them. And if customers do buy your product, they certainly won’t pay a premium. If you’re not happy about this, you’ll have to complain to Adam Smith. The best way to know customers are eager for you to meet a need is with Market Satisfaction Gaps.

More in white paper, Market Satisfaction Gaps

Awkward Reality #470

Lean Startup is fine for B2B… but don’t skip this extra “Learn” step.


The “Build-Measure-Learn” cycle in Lean Startup begins with a hypothesis, and is great for B2C. End-consumers can seldom tell you what will amuse them or increase their sense of self-worth. But knowledgeable B2B customer can predict their desired outcomes. So start with a “Learn” pre-step. Customers will tell you all you need if you know how to ask.

More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 3)

Awkward Reality #469