from The Innovator’s Solution

I’ve been spending much of the last several months working with a Fortune 100 company, helping them design and create an internal innovation / incubator practice.  To that end, I’ve been going back and re-reading some of the better books on the topic.  Here is a quote that will resonate with those who believe in agile/lean techniques:

“In searching for an initial product foothold in new-market disruption, observation and questioning to determine what customers are trying to do, coupled with strategies of rapid development and fast feedback, can greatly improve the probability that a company’s products will converge quickly upon a job that people are trying to get done.”

from The Innovator’s Solution, Clayton Christensen 2003

  • I think Christensen’s emphasis on observation and questioning is a better place to start new market exploration than Lean Startup focus on experimentation. If you like this passage in “innovator’s Solution” you should consider reading/re-reading the Innovator’s DNA chapeters on questioning and observing.

  • Peter Van Dijck

    My rule of thumb: if they’re in the same building as the main office you’ve already failed 🙂

  • What do you think of the broader attention to what customers are trying to do, rather than more focused problem-seeking we tend to see with Lean Startup these days?

    • don’t know if I fully grok your question, Sal.  I do think you need to attack your idea from multiple vectors.  Do you understand root problem? Do you have a measurable “outcome” the customer needs to see to view your product as helpful / successful?

      • Brilliant – thanks! I love your knack of cutting to the core with simple, actionable explanations. 

  • Cillian

    Hi Giff, would you mind sharing a list of the books you recommend on the topic?