What Is A Product?

Giff Constable innovation, technology

The title is a question we have been kicking around at Neo for the last few weeks. I often refer to us as a product agency, as opposed to digital agencies that do marketing websites and campaign work. But what is a product? Here’s an initial stab. A product is a repeatable capability that delivers value to its customer. A …

A lean case study with Time Inc’s Cooking Light

Giff Constable innovation, lean

Giff Constable- Testing New Products Ideas at Time – NCCSF Neo Day Session 2 from NeoInnovate on Vimeo. We spent a fascinating 8 weeks with the team at Cooking Light magazine, part of Time Inc’s Lifestyle Group, helping them put “lean startup in the enterprise” methods into action. Our goal was to ideate and then test a new product idea …

Hiring an Intrapreneur Team

Giff Constable innovation, management

Let’s say you’re a leader at a Fortune 500 company. You know you need to move faster and take on more risks with your digital products. How do you conquer your “innovator’s dilemma”? You need the right structure and the right people. Today, I wanted to talk about the people. You need dynamic, passionate, multi-skilled, highly talented people. In other …

Latest Iteration of the Assumptions Exercise

Giff Constable innovation

I used to mentor some of the very first Lean Startup Machine events and it was a lot of fun.  But I would consistently see teams struggle to think through their ideas holistically, and to concisely lay out their assumptions and risks.  They were getting stuck on the various canvases, so I created a simple questionnaire. Fast forward several years, …

Bezos on the Post and Innovation

Giff Constable innovation

I bet many of you read the recent Jeff Bezos interview in The Washington Post, but I wanted to highlight these two quotes: “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.” “In my experience, the way invention, innovation and change …

When do you hit the gas pedal?

Giff Constable innovation, lean, startups

“Unfortunately, the pendulum rarely swings halfway” — Eric Paley Eric Paley has a great post about founders hesitating to invest in growth, even when he thinks they should. Now, I’ve been in startups where either the CEO or the VCs tried to force growth too early, and had it backfire in a big way. Thus I’ve been very responsive to …

Evidence, not Validation

Giff Constable innovation, lean

The other day, I tweeted my discomfort with the words “validation” and “invalidation” when it comes to early stage products. They appeal to human psychology because we like clear, crisp, confident concepts. But the real work of applying lean in practice is much murkier. When is something actually validated or invalidated? An adequate answer to the former might be product-market-fit, …

Meetup’s Qualitative Research with “Jobs To Be Done”

Giff Constable innovation, UI/UX

Last thursday, I popped over to Meetup’s HQ to talk to Anna Howell and Brenna Lynch, two researchers on their team. They have been using the “Jobs To Be Done” framework, from Clayton Christensen, to organize their qualitative research. Currently, they are studying two critical moments in their customers’ lives: “first joining meetup.com” and “creating a new group”. Behind their …

The point of stupid buzzwords

Giff Constable innovation

Process fads roll through and it is easy to roll your eyes. They come with business books with one good chapter and 9 chapters of filler. But they can serve a purpose. I have found over the years that it is incredibly easy for human beings to get lost in the weeds, blinding themselves in the process. New packaging provides …

The Truth Curve

Giff Constable innovation, lean, startups

(updated version from Testing with Humans) I wanted to share one of the slides from my talk at QCon last week. I call it the truth curve. On the X-axis is your product sophistication. On the Y-axis is how much you can believe your learnings versus having to strongly filter your results through your judgement and vision. Different types of …