The CEO’s Kids “I keep
a lot of kids around me and ask them questions and peek around the corner when they think I'm not listening. My master plan was I had a lot of kids. I have six kids. Three girls that are six, a 15-year-old, 18-year- old and 22-year-old. I have the perfect research team in my house." http://acupofteawithphd.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/live-from-cannes-cannes-lions-2013-so-farpart-4-its-diddy/
The fear of small numbers
Managers worry about the signal-to-noise ratio. The smaller the sample, the more we worry about noise (wrong people, inaccuracies or untruths, groupthink, etc.) So they compensate with bigger sample sizes. But more numbers make more noise.
over targeting leads us astray
“[M]ost companies with a practiced discipline of listening to their best customers and identifying new products that promise greater proﬁtability and growth are rarely able to build a case for investing in disruptive technologies until it is too late.” - Clay Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma
research ignores switchers, rejectors, fringe
& new users “Generally, disruptive technologies underperform established products in mainstream markets. But they have other features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value.” - Clay Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma
what is a lean company
for? 1. To specify customer value. 2. To identify & implement the actions that create that value. 3. To remove anything that doesn’t create value. 4. To analyze the results (and repeat).
why does feedback & customer
pull matter? Feedback and testing (a.k.a., research) help teams settle questions and make decisions based on evidence not preferences. Continuous feedback helps teams see progress.
empower the research manager We
have to transform the research manager from a project manager into a Scrum master. Their role is to remove obstacles to progress, and to facilitate communication. Their responsibility to the team is to facilitate hypothesis testing, and to create opportunities to challenge assumptions.
forget the horse’s mouth Don’t
count on users to make your decisions for you - that’s not their job. Don’t let the report be the end of your learning process - it’s just a way to memorialize what you’ve learned and provide a reference when you encounter similar issues again.