Kevin's Test

Big week for Instagram. The product is clearly in good hands with Facebook, but what an exciting ride for founders, Kevin System and Mike Krieger. We’re excited to see what they build next!

From NYTimes:

“Instagram was founded in 2010, but initially focused on location check-ins as an app called Burbn. Mr. Krieger and Mr. Systrom noticed that early Burbn users were heavily using the app’s photo features, so they retooled it around sharing photos and changed the name.”

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Ship that product! But pay attention to details.

 Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You need a good balance of urgency and quality when pushing a new product out there. The key is to figure out how to do that efficiently each time. (Easier said than done.)

Good insights from Forbes on “3 Shortcuts That Will Sabotage Your Product Launch”

“You should be excited about bringing your new product to market, but don’t let that excitement cause you to take shortcuts that will only set you back in the long run.”

Kodak Moment?

Good insights from Forbes on Design Thinking.  

Despite effectively inventing the digital camera, and investing millions in the development of digital technologies during the 1990s, the company decided against selling digital cameras, choosing to instead continue developing film cameras, fearing the move to digital would heavily damage their existing business. Those within the company decided that, because digital picture quality was relatively poor compared to film, there would be no significant demand for the product. The repercussions of this decision proved to be the company’s undoing.

By not taking the trouble to ask potential customers for their opinions, Kodak was left on the back foot when the likes of Canon and Nikon , who had not been seen as fierce competition before, swiftly moved into the digital camera market and quickly won customer approval. When Kodak finally did manage to put a digital camera on the market they again read consumer demand incorrectly: though their camera produced a far superior image, the price was far out of the reach of most families’ budgets. What killed Kodak was not incorporating ‘design thinking’ into their innovation and business development

 Being able to put yourself in the shoes of the customer always has been and still is vital for businesses to succeed. This is the essence of design thinking. However, many products and services fail as a result of managers not consulting with or listening to the needs of their target audiences.

Designers rise to top jobs as companies rethink how to inspire the consumer

Design and “Design Thinkers” are more important than ever. Via CNBC

With technological innovation comes constantly changing expectations, so it is getting harder than ever to provide consumers with new and improved experiences. 

The upshot: Executives with design backgrounds are rising to the top and, in some cases, delivering billions in new revenue.

 Source: ShutterStock

Source: ShutterStock

Building a Design Thinking Culture

The concepts are great, but without an environment for it to thrive, Design Thinking is just a bunch of text.

“Everybody’s talking about innovation these days. While many organizations focus on innovation and Design Thinking as a way to innovate, the most successful organizations focus on creating a culture in which innovation thrives.

Great article via: The Change Designers

How Intuit Used Design Thinking To Boost Sales By $10M In A Year

Good insights on using Design Thinking to be more innovative.

"To test their idea, the team suggested changes to the script used in the call center. They then ran some quick tests right then, on the fly, with call center staff, customers, and prospects.

In a very short period of time they learned that many more people were interested in buying just one seat, or three seats. As a result, after further testing, they changed their policy to sell individual and smaller numbers of seats. What was the result of this small customer-centric, quick prototype test? A $10 million increase in sales in the first year."

Source: FastCoDesign.com

Execution First and Strategy Second

Great read from Rosabeth Moss Kanter about execution and strategy.

“For all the faddish talk about audacious goals and moonshots, the bigger an unproven promise, the harder the fall when execution doesn’t match the hype. It is important to avoid the temptation to declare victory at an announcement of a strategy — the photo op of merger partners’ handshakes, the external award for product design, or the big donation for work not undertaken — only to find that the merger dissolves, customers ignore the product, and the new work never gains traction.

In short, encourage innovation, begin with execution, and name the strategy later.”

Source: Harvard Business Review

 

The Link Between Design Thinking And Resilience

Great stuff from Forbes on Design Thinking and  Resilience :

"One of the most important aspects of resilience involves developing a flexible way of thinking about challenge and adversity and being able to solve problems in an accurate way.  

Design thinking is a type of innovation methodology – a problem solving process to help you generate options, test strategies, and get feedback so that you can develop something (often applied to facilitate the creation of new products or processes). As I discovered, design thinking is also a great tool to help you get unstuck and problem solve life’s biggest challenges." 

Paper Prototypes: The Darling of Design Thinking

Important points about low-fidelity tests leveraged in Design Thinking via Forbes.

“Low fidelity tests are the darling of design thinking, and you have to constantly try out and toss new ideas that don’t work for customers. It takes discipline to say, “Okay, engineers. We’re not going to start building this yet because we’ve got to draw pictures first and show it to more people.” Getting this right is more important than just pushing out a product. Invest time early on in the iterative process so that once you are ready to develop a product, it is full speed ahead.”