Ten questions with the author of Hidden in Plain Sight

Sanjay Dalal, author of the Creativity and Innovation Driving Business blog, recently posted an interview with Erich Joachimsthaler, author of the new book, Hidden In Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy. Here are a few highlights of this fascinating interview.

Sanjay Dalal, author of the Creativity & Innovation Driving Business blog, recently posted a Q&A interview with Erich Joachimsthaler, author of the new book, Hidden In Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company’s Next Big Growth Strategy. A few highlights of this fascinating interview:

The need-fulfillment model of doing business is broken: Consumers are overwhelmed by choices in nearly every product category. Conventional customer and market attributes are almost meaningless. Asking customers what they want reveals little useful information. “You have also got to retire the basic notion that consumers can tell you what they want. I am of the opinion that consumers can not know what they have not experienced.” In other words, customers would have never envisioned Apple’s iPod, or the iTunes application that delivers music to it.

We’re stuck in our patterns: Human beings are comfortable with patterns, because they make things familiar and manageable. But they blind us to new “white space” opportunities. Joachimsthaler says we need to take “an unbiased and untainted” view of our potential opportunities – free of the biases of our own products and brands. He does acknowledge, however, that this is devilishly hard to do.

Reframing opportunity space: In this interview, the author explains how companies like GE, P&G, Allianz and Apple have mapped the ecosystems in which their customers live and work, and then take an outside-in view to new opportunities. Very interesting stuff!

This is a very informative interview, and I thank Sanjay for arranging it. In fact, this interview has made me decide that I really need to dig into this book, to see what else I can learn!

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