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sharkThink: rethinking product value development. Stay sharp, keep thinking!

Product value development starts by understanding the jobs your customers are trying to accomplish with your products. Helping users with these outcomes is the benchmark for concept innovative.

Mar 10

Don't trust your sales people

Posted by John Landerholm in value developmentproduct developmentoutcome-driven innovationdesign

John Landerholm

Dont trust your sales people for input in new product developmentDon't trust your sales people for relaying proper user input in product development. Why would I say something like that? Anyone old enough to remember the 70's? Burnt Red and Avocado Green were reported to be the colors that the market were demanding for kitchen appliances.  Usually it was a someone from sales who was voicing this wisdom.

I'll let you in on a secret. The depth of a salespersons insight into what "the market" is demanding is to repeat the product features that the last customer he talked with was interested in.

Nov 11

silencing the voice of the customer

Posted by John Landerholm in voice of the customerinnovationdesign

John Landerholm

The customer cant always know what is bestThe customer is always right. Love your customers. The customer knows best.

We've all heard these old sayings. And to some extent they are right. Consumers vote with their wallets. They know what they want when they see it. The problem is when it comes to user input in the product development process the results are less than impressive.

Homer Simpson's long lost brother found that out the hard way in the Simpson's episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". Herb the owner of Powell Motors goes bankrupt when he asks Homer to help design his very own dream car.

Oct 31

ideas that spread, win

Posted by John Landerholm in ideasadvertising

John Landerholm

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this video

Seth Godin explains with 4 easy words how to succeed.

Aug 10

why is Superman so underrated?

Posted by John Landerholm in super heroesgadgets

John Landerholm

I can fly, what would I do with a drivers license?"Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." 

These famous words preceded every episode of the Adventures of Superman TV series. I grew up with these words and in my opinion they comprise the most remarkable of all superhero CV's. Yet, despite his super résumé, Superman is the most underrated superhero today.

Back in the middle of last century he was my favorite hero. Superman was my not my only TV hero. The Lone Ranger, Davie Crockett and Zorro were also heroes of mine but Superman was different, Superman was a superhero.  Bullets ricochet off of his chest, he could fly and he had x-ray vision. Jeez, x-ray vision! What Superhero has x-ray vision? (What grownup says Jeez?)

May 20

is recycling good design?

Posted by John Landerholm in recyclingenvironmentecologydesign

John Landerholm

40% of all trash ends up in a landfillI saw an episode of "Penn & Tellers BULLSHIT" last night. The show was about the truths and myths of recycling. Is recycling a benefit to the environment and does it save natural resources?

Which ever view you take, one interesting fact popped up: 40% of all of the recycled trash ends up in a landfill site anyways.It turns out that aluminum cans were the only thing that is being recycled at a profit. It simply costs more to recycle paper products than what you can buy wood which was grown on a tree farm for just this purpose.

Using trees as a renewable resource is not only a better bargain it also saves the environment from the chemicals necessary to bleach and process recycled paper. Other recycled products cost more to transport, sort and reprocess than they ever will fetch on the market.

Mar 10

get different not just better

Posted by John Landerholm in innovationdesign

John Landerholm

change is good, getting better is fine but the future is all about getting different!While re-reading a portion of "Competing for the Future" by Hamel & Prahalad, I ran across this sentence: "A company surrenders tomorrow's businesses when it gets better without getting different".

This has been on of the fundamental themes of my working life: keeping a firm grip on improving what we know how to do, while still being open and adventurous enough to do things completely different in and for the future. 

Whether we think about it on a daily basis or not, getting different is the ultimate goal we strive to achieve for clients. Going beyond helping them to be better to helping them become different.

Sep 03

how to save the wind

Posted by John Landerholm in innovationenvironmentdesign

John Landerholm

saving up to 20 weeks of energy undergroundOne of the biggest drawbacks with electricity produced by windmills is that the price per Kw falls the harder and longer the wind blows. Since there is no way to regulate the output from windmills it would be nice to be able to somehow store the energy until prices are high enough.

This is an interesting design challenge as well as a huge business opportunity.

The price the electrical utilities pay per kW of electricity from windmills fluctuates considerably minute by minute. During peak loads the prices are higher, at night time the prices are lower. Power stations conserve energy by turning production down at night, (un)fortunately nobody can increase or decrease the wind to regulate the output of windmills. The consequence is that windmills sell a large portion of their output at very cheap rates.

Jul 14

1 billion camera telephones

Posted by John Landerholm in recyclingenvironmentdesign

John Landerholm

Yes that's right, 500 million camera phones sold in 2006 By the end of 2007 there will be 1 billion camera phones in existance. The sale of mobile phones with a camera have skyrocketed from 3 million in 2001 to 500 million sold in 2006. In 2006 there were sold 1 billion mobile telephones worldwide, half of which were camera phones.

Lets take a moment to grasp this: It took Casio 30 years to sell 1 billion calculators. I don't even think McDonalds sold a billion hamburgers that fast!


May 28

Steve Jobs feeling good about himself

Posted by John Landerholm in softwareMicrosoftApple

John Landerholm

Steve Jobs feeling good about himself. He just dissed Msoft in public.Just saw a video of Walt Mossberg interviewing Steve Jobs. When asked how many copies of iTunes Apple has distributed he coyly hinted that it was at least 3 x the amount of iPods they have sold. That means at least 300 million copies.

Mossberg, the shrewd analyst he is, sayed quickly that 300 million copies would make Apple one of the major software developers for the Windows platform.



Everyone's talking about the "i" word: innovation. "We need more innovation" it's being said over and over. It starts to get a little bit repetitive. Of course we have be innovative to survive, but thats like saying we have to look both ways before we cross the street. What we really should be focusing on is increasing product value for users. You heard it here first.