Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Want breakthrough innovation? Then don't listen to your customers
By Jeffrey Baumgartner

A subject we often talk about:

A lot has been written on customer-centric innovation and there is an arguable case for taking this approach. However, customer-centric innovation is fraught with risk if done poorly – such as asking your customers for ideas  – and seldom actually leads to breakthrough innovation…...
Rather, I would like to look at why it is often best to get beyond your customers if you truly want to devise and launch a breakthrough innovation. Indeed, if we look at some of the most successful innovative products and services of recent years, we find that they are not the result of customer surveys, they are not based on suggestions submitted to crowd sourcing web sites and they are not new features added to existing products (the most typical customer-centric innovation). Rather they are radical ideas that have often made it to market as the result of the vision and drive of a determined individual.

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