Although not available until June, Tuned In, Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities that Lead to Business Breakthroughs, written by Craig Stull & Phil Myers of Pragmatic Marketing, and David Meerman Scott, provides a clear reminder for all of us to keep our focus on customers and their needs from the beginning, and throughout, the innovation process.
The authors argue, rightfully so, that understanding expressed and unexpressed customer needs is what enables innovators to develop products that will 'resonate' with customers, and that doing so will lead to success with far less effort and expense than trying to market and sell a product that does not resonate with customers. Of course, laid out this plainly makes it seem overly obvious, but in my own work with entrepreneurs at Venture2 and through countless real world examples it’s clear many entrepreneurs and companies become hooked on their own idea and fail to look realistically at consumer needs and marketplace opportunity when developing their product, business plan, and commercialization strategies.
For those who are interested, the book offers a well-developed framework for a six-step process to "tune in" and to develop products that will connect with customers. The book is a little repetitious in its presentation of the main theme, likely derived from its basis as material for their seminars series, but it does offer some interesting examples of the process being used to create successful innovations such as QuickBooks and Zipcar.