Archive for October 28th, 2013

what customers want. Using outcome-driven innovation to create breakthrough products & services. Anthony W. Ulwick

English: A business ideally is continually see...

what customers want. Using outcome-driven innovation to create breakthrough products & services. Anthony W. Ulwick. 2005. ISBN 9780071408677. Don Adams in his excellent book, New Product Blueprinting,  referenced Ulwick’s ground breaking work on Jobs That Need Doing and this book. It is everything Adams said it was. I read and reread several sections as this disciple of Christensen (The Innovators Dilemma)  does a terrific job of  highlighting the  flaws in Voice of the Customer product research and replacing it with something much better.

  1. Buyers have a job that needs doing .
  2. They have multiple metrics they use to see if the job is done to their satisfaction.

Ulwick maintains,  and I agree , that the bulk of the innovation failures and monstrous dissipation of capital in the pursuit of it , is due to not really knowing what job the customer needs to do and how they will measure success. (And then not delivering a compelling solution) . Through the many examples given, Ulwick lays out how the market research and strategy work should  done, how to choose between alternatives and the degree this will impact different industries. His clear  examples run from very mature industries through to the most cutting edge ones.  I agree with his supposition as in our practice we all to often are called into clients to help ,  and find that the troubles come from them just do not knowing enough about their customers. Too often both sales and marketing are looking at the wrong things to help the company.  He emphasizes the key role that ongoing market research needs to play.