As Russell Ackoff once said…
‘We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem’.
I remember back in the early 90s the lecturer talking about market research. A world of surveys, questionnaires and focus groups.
This was all before the internet.
The focus was on selecting your research population, crafting questions to not inadvertently bias the responses and inviting people to focus groups to get views on what ever plan/product/service you were hoping to test.
Building a new product or service was highly costly back then. Involving manufacturing lines and or recruiting significant number of people to handle sales and service of the new offer.
Fast forward 30 years and how the world has changed.
Online interactions are tracking customer behaviours. We are all, without even knowing it, contributing to research somewhere based on where we click and what we respond to online.
The whole era of iteration, test and learn and design thinking has emerged. You can trial and pilot an online product with as little as a landing page to gauge interest based on some content and describing what problems you are looking to solve.
You can engage a community, generate a crowd that are prepared to contribute and provide insight and you can launch businesses pretty quickly by configuring a heap of “as a service” products.
But don’t be fooled by the hype many of the online business models are still not yet breaking even and creative ways of monetising an online experience are emerging on a daily basis.
Beyond “the apps” all the innovation and incubation models encourage co creation with a significant amount of time understanding the heart of the problem a business offer could solve .. it then hopes to stand up the offer and somehow monetise it in a way that prior year costs can be overcome and the costs to scale can be factored into the financial model.
It’s so much more complicated than it once was – however everything available to us allows us to engage and get insight so much easier than it would have been 30 years ago.
The co-creation model has to be the business model of the 2020s. It feels like it is coming of age.
There are those that believe, the winners will be those who can engage and provide the vision and dreams of the future in a way that inspires businesses to invest in that thinking and design space ahead of significant development and delivery.
For many businesses linking in with target market CIOs with all the relevant CDOs and with the COOs and CFOs to sell the approach, benefits and costs of the new co creation business model.
Those businesses that will grow IMHO will be those that get to the heart of the problem and sequence a series of offers to enable customers over a series of releases to expand and grow in incremental stages. And they will only get there if they are able to wet the appetite of key influencers within the target customer businesses and get them involved early.
How are you wetting the appetite of your target customers?
How are you engaging with you target market are you stuck in the 1980s or have you moved into the iterative 2020s?
Is your business going to grow with collaborative working relationships?
Do you think the world is fundamentally different to what it was 30 years ago?
Do you think understanding customers problems and inventing solutions to deal with them is getting easier or harder?
Would love to hear your views