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Nick Marsh - Product of Your Imagination: Adventures in Product Management, Storytelling and Pasta Monsters

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What happens when you bring user-centred, data-driven product management techniques to bear on the creation and iteration of ‘imagination products’ such as stories for children? In turn, what can product people learn from the imaginative techniques used by story tellers? Why is it that only a water princess can defeat the pasta monster? Nick will use his experience creating bestselling children’s books at Lost My Name to explore these questions and more.

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Nick Marsh - Product of Your Imagination: Adventures in Product Management, Storytelling and Pasta Monsters

  1. 1. Product of Your Imagination Nick Marsh, Head of Product at Lost My Name Turing Conference, Edinburgh, August 2017
  2. 2. Our picture books How they work Imagination products How they work Optimising imagination Your mission
  3. 3. Full stack publishing company Backed by investors such as Google Ventures and Ravensburger 100 employees mainly in London Nearly 3 million books sold in 200+ countries in under three years Best seller in US, UK, Australia, Germany...
  4. 4. We give adults imaginative superpowers to inspire children with boundless self belief
  5. 5. How?
  6. 6. Name Address Birthday Interests Family BIrthda y Thief BIrthda y Thief
  7. 7. Nicholas 12 Ashby Road 10th August 1983 Computers, Steak Annie, Pete, Davina, ... BIrthda y Thief BIrthda y Thief
  8. 8. BIrthda y Thief BIrthda y Thief N I C H O L A S World U.K London Ashby Road 12 10 Aug 1983 Computers Steak Annie Peter Davina Nick Elfie Bonnie
  9. 9. BIrthda y Thief BIrthda y Thief N I C H O L A S World U.K London Ashby Road 12 10 Aug 1983 Computers Steak Annie Peter Davina Nick Elfie Bonnie Start End Start End Start End Start End Start End
  10. 10. World U.K London Ashby Road 12Start End
  11. 11. World U.K London Ashby Road 12Start End Inciting incident Progressive complications A mentor arrives Moment of truth Change in hero and the world
  12. 12. World U.K London Ashby Road 12Start End Inciting incident Progressive complications A mentor arrives Moment of truth Change in hero and the world Adventure FriendshipKindness Belonging
  13. 13. World U.K London Ashby Road 12 “There’s no limit to how far you can go if you know you have somewhere safe to return to…” Start End Inciting incident Progressive complications A mentor arrives Moment of truth Change in hero and the world Adventure FriendshipKindness Belonging
  14. 14. Reality Fantasy
  15. 15. Reality Fantasy
  16. 16. “The Journey Home and The Little Boy Who Lost his Name are my son's favorite stories. He is 5 and thinks they actually happened to him because they are about him. That being said he is very upset that his robot friend Hubble doesn't come visit and play. I tried explaining it was a story and that made it worse because heaven forbid that Hubble his robot friend isn't real. The attached picture is the result of me trying to explain why his robot friend Hubble doesn't come visit. He still loves the books but is super upset when Hubble comes up because he wishes his robot friend would come over and play and have lemonade. Maybe the book should have the option of coming with a stuffed Hubble to cuddle and read together?”
  17. 17. Reality More believable fantasy
  18. 18. More resonance in reality More believable fantasy
  19. 19. I just wanted to drop you all a line at Lost My Name to say that we absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE our book. We have read it for bedtime every night since we received it and it still entertains us every time :slightly_smiling_face: Our daughter loves it and reading it as a family has become a special time for us at night. Thank you for something so incredibly special that I think has become a huge part of my daughter's childhood - I will never forget the look of awe on my daughter's face the first night we read it and she realised it was her name at the end! “ ”
  20. 20. Imagination products
  21. 21. Imagination products are the product of very imaginative processes
  22. 22. Imagination products are literally ‘imagination as a product’ you can buy
  23. 23. You’re unique You can go anywhere You’re in charge You’re special You’re loved BIrthda y Thief BIrthda y Thief
  24. 24. Creator imagines it You buy it Conventional adult book Creators imaginative world inspires you
  25. 25. Creator imagines it You buy it Conventional children’s picture book You read it aloud Creators imaginative world, and your performance, inspires a child
  26. 26. Creator imagines it You buy and create it Wonderbly picture book You read it aloud Creators imaginative world, enhanced with your realistic and personal ingredients and your performance, inspires a child even more deeply You extra realism and personal value to it
  27. 27. Creator imagines it You buy and create it You read it aloud Creators imaginative world, enhanced with your realistic and personal ingredients and your performance, inspires a child even more deeply You extra realism and personal value to it 01010001100 00100110100 10011 Book
  28. 28. Creator imagines it You buy and create it You read it aloud Creators imaginative world, enhanced with your realistic and personal ingredients and your performance, inspires a child even more deeply You extra realism and personal value to it
  29. 29. The customer is the medium
  30. 30. How do we design our imagination products?
  31. 31. Creator imagines it Creator and editor work on idea Print it Editor agrees it’s good How it’s normally done See if customers like it
  32. 32. Identify imagination need in customers Creator prototypes idea and gets feedback from customers Creator works on idea (with more customer feedback throughout) Creator has idea in response How we do it Launch as a test Optimise for highest customer conversion
  33. 33. Identify imagination need in customers Creator prototypes idea and gets feedback from customers Creator works on idea (with more customer feedback throughout) Creator has idea in response How we do it Launch as a test Optimise for highest customer conversion Qualitative, user centred design Quantitative, data driven optimisation
  34. 34. Quantitative Optimisation of Imagination Products
  35. 35. Quantitative optimisation
  36. 36. Quantitative optimisation
  37. 37. Quantitative optimisation
  38. 38. Quantitative optimisation J-Home cover 1 J-Home cover 2
  39. 39. Quantitative optimisation
  40. 40. Quantitative optimisation
  41. 41. Qualitative Optimisation of Imagination Products
  42. 42. ‘Family’ as personalisation backbone
  43. 43. ‘Family’ as personalisation backbone
  44. 44. ‘Family’ as personalisation backbone
  45. 45. ‘Family’ is a great personalisation system Being a superhero is a super idea
  46. 46. ‘Family’ is a great personalisation system Being a superhero is a super idea
  47. 47. ‘Family’ is a great personalisation system Being a superhero is a super idea
  48. 48. ‘Family’ is a great personalisation system Being a superhero is a super idea
  49. 49. “The ultimate super power is to help others find theirs.”

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