Friday, November 09, 2012

Innovating With The Easy-Factor In Mind

Ever heard someone talk about their new and amazing vision? 
Their incredible product release that is going to change the world? 
It is exciting to hear... 

But deep down you'll need to listen to one thing, and that is the customer hearing it, and then agreeing. 

The most important part of any innovation is the customer saying, "Yes, that sounds easy..." A lot of companies spend too much time in the ether talking in echo chambers about what they would buy and what they want. And with all the literature out there saying "TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS" it still doesn't happen enough. With any new product, bring your customer counsel together (as Marty Cagan suggests) or follow the Customer Discovery program by Steven Blank. 

And.............................. 
Most importantly..................................

Make sure your customer will buy your product easily. This is probably the most over-looked product development by product managers. The sales process needs to be easy. Not necessarily easy to pitch, that can be tough and that's where good sales people come in to play, but easy to buy. A few things to think about: 
  1. To buy this thing, I have to do how many clicks? Forget it...
  2. It takes how long to set up? 
  3. How many demos do I have to walk through? 
  4. You don't take American Express? 
  5. How many people are involved? 
These, among others, turn me off right away... And you? Likely your customer is in the same boat. If your product is amazing then make sure the buying process is DUMB SIMPLE! The company who innovates here, wins! 

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