We learned a lot last Friday about uncovering customer needs. For some of us, it was a helpful reminder of who we are designing our products for. For others, it was exposure to new tools and techniques for getting to the hearts and minds of a consumer. For everyone, it was a chance to engage in conversations with like-minded innovators. For those who joined us, please reach out to the folks you met and see how they're doing on their own journeys of customer-driven solutions.
A very small sample of what we heard:
- Middle Class prosperity is an illusion: The middle class is struggling (stagnant wages; employment uncertainty; household debt; foreclosures and bankruptcies; rising cost of childcare, healthcare and education.) Other contributing factors – Technological change, Globalization & Competition, Workplace Changes, and Weak Unions.
- "Nothing important happens in the office." The answers to most business questions are "not in the the building."
- Challenge the data: Blindly trusting the data we receive causes rework, change controls, lack of cohesion
- Understand where your product fits into the context of use.
- Today’s current consumers multitask constantly, switching modes as they complete their tasks, or “jobs.” Each of the jobs they undertake has to some degree a functional, emotional, social, and aspirational component.
- Thanks to smart phones, customers can now show you a product as they experience it, over time
- Innovation = Meaningfully Unique. If you’re not meaningfully unique, you better be cheap.