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The 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators

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It’s easier than ever to create a startup around a new, innovative idea. But most startups fail -- and most innovative products never take off. What differentiates the projects that DO take off? What habits, behaviors and attitudes are shared by the teams who create genre-defining hits? In this talk, you’ll learn the 7 habits of breakthrough innovators - brought to life with front-line stories from the early days of eBay, Ultima Online, The Sims, Rock Band, Covet Fashion, Happify, Lumosity and Pley. You’ll come away with a smarter approach to innovative product design - and practical, actionable design shortcuts you can use right away to turbo-charge your path towards product/market fit.

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The 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators

  1. The 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D. Co-Founder, Shufflebrain #Getting2Alpha
  2. What we’ll cover Introduction
  3. What we’ll cover Introduction 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators
  4. What we’ll cover Introduction 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators 3 Smart Shortcuts to get you started
  5. Introduction A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something. Frank Capra Filmmaker
  6. You’ve got a great product idea
  7. How do you know if it’s the right one?
  8. Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D. Co-Founder & Creative Director Shufflebrain Partners shufflebrain.com Creator & Head Coach Getting to Alpha getting2alpha.com
  9. We partner with great companies to make smart games for a connected world
  10. What can we learn from breakthrough innovations?
  11. Can we learn to validate our product ideas better, smarter, faster?
  12. 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators You can use an eraser on the drafting table – or a sledgehammer on the construction site Frank Lloyd Wright Architect
  13. Habit 1 Think like a scientist
  14. Run small, high-learning MVP experiments To increase your chances of success, minimize time through the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. Eric Ries Author, The Lean Startup
  15. Ask the hard, important questions upfront Ideas Design & Build Product Measure Data Learn
  16. What keeps people engaged in a virtual dollhouse simulation?
  17. What social systems are necessary to build trust in an online marketplace?
  18. Can non-musicians play plastic instruments together and feel like a band making music?
  19. Will fashion-loving, young women pay to play a dress-up game with real designer clothes?
  20. Will people subscribe to a digital service that delivers daily happiness exercises?
  21. Habit 2 Laser-focus on Early Adopters
  22. Find & delight your early adopters FIRST Early adopters will put up with cost & ridicule for innovations that meet real needs. Erika Hall Author, Just Enough Research
  23. Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore, 1992
  24. Innovation Diffusion Theory Everett Rogers, 1961
  25. Gather ideas & feedback for key systems
  26. Cultivate relationships with content creators
  27. Leverage relationships with Super Fans
  28. Habit 3 Learn about customers’ needs & habits
  29. Piggyback on existing habits “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” Samuel Johnson Author
  30. Conduct field interviews with Early Adopters
  31. Use speed interviews to surface patterns & insights
  32. Habit 4 Create a culture of iterative testing
  33. Test early, test often There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all Peter Drucker Author
  34. Set up a weekly interview / playtest rhythm
  35. Expand testing audience as product matures
  36. Habit 5 Cultivate a customer feedback community
  37. Listen in as customers talk with each other To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. Steven Covey Author
  38. Create a private group for Early Adopters
  39. Offer new channels/groups for later customers
  40. Ideas Design & Build Product Measure Data Learn Habit 6 Test & refine the Core Loop early
  41. What is — and isn’t — a Core Loop? In a loop, you’re learning a skill and updating your mental model. That’s what leads to player delight. Dan Cook Lead Game Designer, Spry Fox
  42. Fake landing page?
  43. Fake landing page? X
  44. Operant Conditioning AKA Skinner Box?
  45. Operant Conditioning AKA Skinner Box? X
  46. Skill-building = Making customers more awesome
  47. Skill-building habit loop
  48. Engaging activity + internal urge fuel the loop
  49. Feedback supports learning & mastery
  50. Investment and triggers pull people back
  51. urge for a fun social activity Play a Song Together Get Score, Accolades, $$ Develop skill, play harder songs Core Loop
  52. urge for a quick social break Read & Respond to Updates Check Notifications & Stats Read & Respond to DMs Core Loop
  53. Engaging activities fuel the loop
  54. Feedback & progress light the way
  55. Triggers & investment pull customer back
  56. Habit 7 Create a path to Mastery
  57. Ralph Waldo Emerson Ideas Design & Build Product Measure Data Learn “Every artist was first an amateur.”
  58. Engage customers with progressive skill-building
  59. Empower enthusiasts with tools, access & privileges
  60. Test wireframes / mockups / ideas with Early Adopters
  61. Build aspirational progression systems
  62. Surface & empower high-skill customers
  63. Engage enthusiasts with in-world powers
  64. 1. Think like a scientist 2. Laser-focus on Early Adopters 3. Learn about customers’ needs & habits 4. Create a culture of iterative testing 5. Cultivate a customer feedback community 6. Test & refine the Core Loop early 7. Co-create a path to Mastery 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators
  65. 3 Smart Shortcuts that turbo-charge your path to product/market fit You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury Author
  66. Shortcut 1 The MVP Canvas
  67. Clarify your product strategy
  68. Identify strengths, values & success metrics
  69. Prioritize your highest-risk assumptions
  70. Shortcut 2 Speed Interviews
  71. Interview 10-15 Early Adopters (5-10 min per interview)
  72. Ask just a few revealing questions Daily Habits Beliefs & Ideas Unmet Needs
  73. Find enthusiastic early (customers + insights)
  74. Shortcut 3 Habit Stories
  75. Turn customer insights into design-ready job stories When _________ I want to ______________ so I can _____________ trigger activity + goal outcome
  76. Habit Story = Existing Habit + Unmet Need
  77. Piggyback your Core Loop on an existing habit
  78. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice
  79. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking
  80. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers
  81. MVP Canvas BEFORE Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashion PLUS celebrity stylist advice F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist
  82. Speed Interviews: How we did it •  15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games •  Recruited from existing player base & Craigslist ads WHO
  83. Speed Interviews: How we did it •  15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games •  Recruited from existing player base & Craigslist ads WHO WHAT •  Spend 5-10 minutes answering 3-5 questions •  The best interview subjects became paid testers
  84. Speed Interviews: How we did it •  15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games •  Recruited from existing player base & Craigslist ads WHO WHAT WHEN & WHERE •  Spend 5-10 minutes answering 3-5 questions •  The best interview subjects became paid testers •  Over a period of 2 weeks •  Via telephone or Skype
  85. Research Results: 3 Key Patterns Fashion Browsers Want to immerse themselves in a beautiful aspirational world that keeps them up-to-date on fashion trends. Co-Creators Want to “do fashion” with a buddy – a friend or relative they can dress with, shop with, and borrow from. Armchair Stylists Love telling other people how to dress – they want to role-play a celebrity stylist, and get credit for their fashion sense.
  86. Fashion Browser “When I’m tired after a long day, I want to flop on the couch and get the escapist, immersive experience of flipping through Vogue – but in a game.”
  87. Fashion Browser Habit Story When I log into the game I want to see gorgeous, creative outfits – made from the latest designer fashions So I can stay on top of fashion trends in a fun and relaxing way
  88. Co-Creator “Patti told me to put these shoes and belt together with this outfit – I would never think of that, but it TOTALLY works. I need her advice all the time.”
  89. Co-Creator Habit Story When I need to dress up for an important event I want to raid my friend’s closet and get her feedback on my outfit online So I can have her accessorize my look and help me feel confident – just like in real-life :-)
  90. Armchair Stylist “I LOVE the idea of a game that lets me rate my friends’ outfits and tell them how to dress better – like I do before a party :-)”
  91. Armchair Stylist Habit Story When I give fashion feedback to others I want to Know if my feedback had an effect So I can Feel happier, knowing that I’m helping others be more fashionable
  92. MVP Canvas AFTER Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist Skews older – women 18-45 like the game and older women spend more $ Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player- stylists
  93. MVP Canvas AFTER Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game exp. Addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist Skews older – women 18-45 like the game and older women spend more $ Aspirational dress- up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player-stylists Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers
  94. MVP Canvas AFTER Young women (18-30) who play mobile fashion games F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content and hot trends Vogue alternative – stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking F2P game exp. Addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist Skews older – women 18-45 like the game and older women spend more $ Aspirational dress- up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player-stylists Like/Dislike metrics via interviews with hardcore fashion gamers And will spend $ on a game based on real-world fashion And up-and- coming stylists
  95. Iterative lo-fi play-testing à Hit Game
  96. Try these techniques for yourself getting2alpha.com/shortcuts
  97. Turbo-charge your path to product/market fit getting2alpha.com Startup Teams Product Leaders Innovative Companies
  98. Thank you amyjokim@gmail.com @amyjokim #Getting2Alpha

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