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Innovation and Product management

Innovation and Product management






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    Innovation and Product management Innovation and Product management Presentation Transcript

    • Managing New Products and Innovation real-life lessons from running a venture and corporate lab Vishy Poosala Founder & CTO – Geopepper.com, Head of Bell Labs – India Sept, 2008
    • Topics covered managing innovation within organizations; applying innovation to new products generating product roadmaps, involving customers in evolving go-to-market strategies; securing innovation With the backdrop of Geopepper case study
    • .. Like Fish need water
      • Every organization needs to innovate or it will perish .
      • Entrepreneur: You need that differentiator, especially if you are not the first.
      • Corporations: Have to constantly fight the entrepreneurs in a garage plotting to kill your business.
      • Fight hard against going after safe directions.
    • Innovation: Doing something NEW Business Product
    • Managing / Encouraging innovation in companies
      • “it’s in the genes”
      • “it can not be taught in a classroom”
      • “ it can be put in a manual”
      • “ it can be presented in this talk”
    • Riding Horses to Innovation You can’t make the horse drink, but you CAN lead it to the water.
    • Our case study: Geopepper.com / an Alcatel-Lucent Venture from Bell Labs Geographic Messaging Service (GMS) Deliver content around where you are. Innovations: World was doing PULL. We enabled PUSH. SMS  MMS  GMS
    • Leading to innovation: Team
      • 90%  Hire the right stars; 10%  Create the environment
      • Team work
        • Nothing big gets done individually (mostly). So learn to love your team. Write limericks?
        • Mix them up
        • expertise in software, mathematics, networks, human factors, cynic, optimist
      • Don’t pigeonhole people
        • Test lead has become our lead AJAX guru developer
      • Passionately believe in what you are trying to do (or don’t do it)
        • Belief that GMS could become as wide as SMS
    • Leading to innovation: Environment
      • Focus on the workspace
        • moved from office rooms into a common lab
      • Keep it casual, PLAY,
        • ping pong, barbecues, treasure hunts, free food
      • Get outside, Recognize problems
        • Brainstorm freely
        • Takes notes. Encourage disagreements. Walk out with a conclusion
        • Expect and Recognize mistakes
        • What did we get right the first time? (answer: only the team)
    • Leading to innovation: Organization
        • Create fast tracks for disruptive innovations
        • Ventures division, tiger teams
      • Kill all signs of hierarchy
        • Founder just means that he got suckered in from Day 1 
        • Stay fresh
        • Entrepreneur bootcamps
        • Bring in the young and the restless on open days
    • .. But stay focused on the goal
      • Too many ideas acted upon will distract.
      • Learn to kill ideas that don’t matter
      • Even innovation can be mostly put on a plan and tracked
        • Ops reviews, project plans, success metrics, tracking, CUSTOMERS
        • Controlled Chaos
    • Involve customers from Day 1
    • Get Real about your Customers
      • KNOW who your customer is (like, name, address, face, issues)
      • Observe them in real life
      • Create use cases. Very detailed. With names of real people against it.
      • Talk to them.
    • Customer is your partner from Day 0
      • In concept stage
        • Focus groups even before the product concept is finalized
      • Product roadmapping
        • Have a customer or customer proxy on the team
        • Best is if YOU are a likely customer
      • Testing
      • Viral, social marketing
    • Prototype. Junk it. Then prototype again. Ad infinitum.
      • Launch a prototype within the first quarter to team and friends
        • LISTEN
      • Launch another prototype to friends of friends.
        • They love you less. LISTEN more carefully. 
      • Launch a public prototype.
        • Act on EVERY customer request and feedback.
      • But don’t always think they will tell you everything. Use your intuition.
    • A-B-Cs of Product Roadmapping
      • A: Can’t drive the car without it
      • B: Would consider paying for that A/C
      • C: Will take it if it’s free
    • Roadmap: Keep it simple.
      • Feature release, Quarterly release, Major bug fixes, etc etc.
        • Do Quarterly releases. At least after your first release.
      • AVOID feature creep. Everything takes at least twice longer than you think.
      • Document it. Paste it on the wall.
      • Don’t miss the obvious and the low hanging fruit in the market
    • New product introduction: Pick up Geoffrey Moore’s first book 
    • Securing innovation
      • Don’t talk too much. Do it. [it’s very hard to shut up when you know a secret!]
      • File for a provisional patent as early as you can [$100]
      • File for all worthy patents. Even if only for defensive purposes.
      • Don’t innovate just for the sake of innovation or patents. FOCUS on business and customer needs
    • Case Study of an Internal Venture
      • T0: Idea for a sensor-based disaster detection and geographic alerting system (!)
      • 2: Idea for a geographic alerting system [Be realistic and Start simple. Simple is already too much]. Technical challenges and solutions identified.
      • 4: Idea and biz case for a geographic mobile marketing application . Venture is funded.
      • 5: Recruited the core team . Identify remote partners. Move to a lab.
      • 6: First prototype . Mad dash to lab at night to reboot a PC. Demo kinda works.
      • 8: Idea changes to Social networking
      • 10: First social networking app Alpha launch. 60 users. They get it but not really
      • 12: Professional graphics , re-architeted system, launch to the world.
      • 14: Idea broadens to platform
      • 16: Launch 2 award winning apps with REAL customers
      • 18: Keeping it THAT innovative and dynamic will be an even bigger challenge next
    • Lessons
      • Great team . Rather, great individuals who grew into a great team.
      • Office room to Lab had huge impact on communications
      • First idea usually sucks in retrospect. Change .
      • Recognize when you are drinking too much of your own kool-aid and listen to bad news
      • Patent everything, but build too
      • Prototype from Day 1
      • Involve customers from Day 0
      • Have FUN creating something NEW and NEVER ignore your gut feeling.
    • Recommended reading
      • Inside Steve’s Brain
      • The art of innovation
      • Crossing the chasm
      • Calvin & Hobbes
      • Innovator’s dilemma and solution
      • Iving Stone’s bio of Michelangelo
      • Patent it Yourself (NOLO) and Patent Pending in 24 hrs