Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recent Book Review - Lightning in a Bottle

As someone whom works often on new product development and ideation across many areas of business. This book by David Minter and Michael Reid proved to be very insighful and has influenced the way I consider future product development. Their seasoned approach to new product design and development is broken down into 7 steps that are simple and easy to follow, that cover important considerations for any new product or idea. Through their years of working on large brands such as Blockbuster and Barnes and Noble they have accumulated much experience in what works and what doesn't when it comes to new product design issues, such as, focus groups and brainstorming.

Considering how much brainstorming I have been involved with over the years, they captured very well the short comings of such an approach to new idea generation. It has it's place of course in the creative process but as they suggest it can be a distraction to actually producing something concrete and evaluating correctly the great ideas from the bad. They suggest a more methodical approach to idea generation, that doesn't rely on just idea generation. What I liked was the emphasis on researching compiling information from the domain space first, then working out what people are actually looking for to improve their interaction or experience with something. Then after some brainstorming, most importantly interviewing individual consumers one at a time, rather than in focus groups, which they say have been shown to fail in most instances time and again.

Most of their concepts are easy to digest although sometimes lacking some detail, but still a great start to the concept of rethinking new product development.

For anyone involved as I am in new product development I highly recommend this short weekend's worth of  reading - lightning in a bottle.

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