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I really like Carl's comment above - focus on a problem to be solved, instead of focusing on a product. I think companies often get into the mode of incremental innovation and only tinkering with what already exists versus trying to create something entirely new.

It's also important to remember that it takes consumers a while to get out of their comfort zone and so new products shouldn't be given up on if they're not immediately successful. People thought the Aeron chair was hideous when it first came out, and now it's a best seller.

This is great insight! Especially, "Your customers and prospective customers are not in your head - they don't have your same history and assumptions about what you ask." Too many marketers and companies forget this important angle. They forget that customers come from a completely different perspective or "come from" and you have to be aware of that. As always, thought provoking, thanks!

Is it true that Henry Ford said "If I listen to my customers I would be selling faster horses"?

Do you know anyone who wished they could get rented DvDs through the mail before Netflix?

You have to focus on the problems that people want solved. If they knew the solution, they would have created it themselves.

People will tell you what's wrong with existing products and services. It's up to you to identify the innovation that will make them happy

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