Whilst reviewing the book “Lightning in a Bottle” I discovered that the authors had reasons “Why 9 Out of 10 New Products Fail”.
The authors David Minter and Michael Reid have over 25 years
working in the innovation arena, particularly Blockbuster Video.
Dole and Einstein Bagles and run their own innovation company.
Their book is an easy one to read and explains in detail about
how companies can innovate to order.
The only slight irritation I found was they sometimes repeated
what they’d already said in a previous chapter. Get over that and
you’ll find some true gold in this book.
“Lightning in a Bottle” demolishes the central plank of belief
that so many companies have in any or all of:
- Focus groups
- Ivory tower R&D or Gee Whiz
- Rip Off
The Failures Of Focus Groups
They explain why focus groups return the wrong results or results
you want them to return. Unless you’re lucky putting out a new
product based on the focus groups feedback is destined to fail.
Badly Let Down By Brainstorming
Brainstorming is given short shrift too as it is compared to
giving a group of scientists in different disciplines random
unlabeled chemicals and instruments and asking them to come up
with lots and lots of compounds. Rhetorically they ask, “Does
this sound like a way to cure polio or develop the next
breakthrough in interstellar space exploration?”
Gee Whiz, Incoming and Rip Off are similarly examined and found
Maybe you think Quantative Research and Market Segmentation are
important? Minter and Reid suggest that whilst these are good
tools they’re inevitably used wrongly for innovation.
10 Points Why New Ideas Fail
To help you understand why new ideas fail they list and consider
10 points that are not usually addressed during the idea creation
They give excellent examples of why businessmen like Ted Turner
and Rupert Murdoch are creative geniuses who innovated and kept
true to the vision they believed in but nobody else did.
The 7 Step Idea Engineering Method
So having effectively demolished the “normal approach” to
generating new products or services the book puts forward the
authors own 7 Step Idea Engineering approach.
I should probably declare that this book fits right in with my
own thoughts on focus groups and the way innovation is usually
handled. And the interesting thing about it is the examples they
give and the logical way they construct a better way to innovate.
Believe me by the end of this book I was hooked. And the most
interesting thing I found from their book was that rather than
focus groups they use one on one interviews to seek feedback.
I’d not realised before but it suddenly hit me. I’d started to
use one on one interviews to create new processes and systems in
companies because I found that group dynamics meant a process
would be skewed according to the most vocal in the group.
If you’re in market research or you’re a business owner you need
to read, understand and use Idea Engineering because Minter and
Reid have produced a short easily read book that has the potential to change your whole world, for the better.