Summary: Hidden in Plain Sight - Erich Joachimsthaler

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Key Points
1 - Hidden Opportunities for Growth and Innovation
Traditionally, companies have approached innovation from an “inside out” perspective – develop better products and you’ll automatically attract more customers and your business will thrive. Therefore, companies:
• Try and differentiate their product offerings – which is fine except everyone gets so busy making marginal improvements nobody looks beyond current offerings for new growth opportunities.
• Organize the marketplace into tidy segments – which is helpful except when new segments arise which nobody has even dreamt of.
• Attempt to grow by merger and acquisition – which is alright except everyone focuses on making the marriage work rather than accessing new markets.
• Extend their brands into adjacent markets – which is okay for incremental growth but no good for accessing dynamic and emerging new markets.
• Listen to their customers – which again is fine except customers only evaluate the future by what they are already familiar with. They won’t demand what they don’t know is technically feasible.
All of these practices are valuable to a point but they share a fundamental weakness – they are all using the organization’s point-of-view and perspective. They never go beneath the surface and examine what it is customers want. Lacking this big-picture perspective, it’s easy for companies to miss growth opportunities which are literally right before their eyes.
A much better way to innovate is to work from the “outside in” – understand what it is customers are trying to achieve and then deliver on the customer’s unexpressed desires, dreams, fantasies and so forth.

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