The words “listen to the customers” get sprinkled on product builders like magic pixie dust. After a while, it’s hard not to smirk when somebody even leans toward the line. Certainly there is no lack of trying by sensible product builders, however the mantra and intention belie the fact that engaging customers and users is a subtle process and that there remains a shortage of simple clear techniques that work well in real business settings with their inherent constraints and realities.
Along has come the new book, Innovation Games, by the ever-energetic Luke Hohmann with a new and powerful approach. I first met Luke when he was VP of Engineering at Aurigin, one of Inxight’s early customers. Luke was the rare customer who gave me no choice but to listen. And our products (and I personally) benefited greatly from the experience. And thus, though not a complete surprise, it is deeply satifying to see that Luke has crafted a suite of ideas and techniques that draws out in others the same spring of enthusiasium and creativity that he naturally channels himself. (more…)