Most entrepreneurs enjoy sharing inspirational stories about how they identified a problem, developed a solution and probably disrupted the market. However, innovation doesn’t work that way most times. It is by creating the solution that the problems are identified.
It is harder to articulate problems when you take little things for granted. For example, it was when Uber was created that most people realized how stressful it was commuting from point A to B especially in dire situations. To create products and services that people will resonate with, you need to build narratives around what people are currently doing.
Observations reveal real time information that can improve a deficient product and make it perform better. To really feel the pulse of the consumers, you must reach out to them, wherever they use your products.
A survey provides quantifiable answers; although the results are fresh but it can be misleading. The most common survey scenarios include asking a colleague to rate something on a scale of “One to Ten” or “Most Likely to Least Likely,” “Very Good to Very Poor” or “Most Important to Least Important” But these are odd ways to think about the world and get the right perception from people. A better strategy is to ask open-ended questions.
To take a survey effectively, endeavor to humanize it and make it relatable to the people. For example, “When a friend asks you about your favourite restaurant, what do you boast about?” This is a concise question, because it helps you to understand both sides of the subject matter. If you love the way your car drives, anything that diminishes the driving experience will be much more obvious to you.
Ranking features is similar to how we differentiate between products. When buying a house for example, you might sample and compare two to five houses. Our ability to distinguish between priorities is sharpened by having alternatives. The more understanding we have of our customers’ priorities, the better we can create solutions that suit their needs.
To avoid mistakes during the product creation phase for your business, conduct in-depth observations, ask open-ended questions and get some quantifiable data by asking survey respondents to rank options. Your future customers still don’t know they have a problem, and they won’t until you build their feedback into a new product that provides a solution to all the deficiencies they are currently experiencing.
Most companies mistake modification for innovation, while others spend time searching for a grand problem but sadly never find it. But, if you lead customers towards the solution, then they will realize they really have a problem.
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