• Creativity is needed to come up with original ideas, which need to be critiqued, evaluated, and elaborated. Many different possibilities need to be explored before focusing on those that have the most potential value. And it is product teams that are able to combine these different behaviors—and switch between them in flexible ways—that are best suited to succeed in the world in which we now find ourselves.

    — EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Silicon Valley Product Group) by Marty Cagan

  • I’ve met dozens of teams who have never talked to customers because they believe they aren’t allowed to. However, they regularly engage with customers outside of work. They work for a major bank, and most (if not all) of their friends have a bank account. They build sales software, and their best friend’s dad works in sales. They work on hospital badge systems, and they have three clinicians in their extended family. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Get started by talking to anyone who is like your customers. Iterate from there.

    — Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Teresa Torres

  • When we assess our choices, we’ll take the inside view by default. We’ll consider the information in the spotlight and use it to form quick impressions. “…” What we’ve seen, though, is that we can correct this bias by doing two things: zooming out and zooming in.

    When we zoom out, we take the outside view, learning from the experiences of others who have made choices like the one we’re facing. When we zoom in, we take a close-up of the situation, looking for “color” that could inform our decision. Either strategy is helpful, and either one will add insight in a way that conference-room pontificating rarely will. When possible, we should do both.

    — Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

  • Incubation can be particularly helpful after hearing other people’s ideas. You may not think of new ideas right away, but odds are, your brain is still working on it in the background. So, if you get stuck, sleep on it. Tomorrow will likely bring fresh ideas. Another common way of getting unstuck is to look to analogous products for inspiration.

    For many product teams, this means competitive research. You should draw inspiration from your competitors, but look broader than that. Many innovative ideas come from unrelated domains.

    — Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Teresa Torres

  • Opportunities framed from your company’s perspective: Product teams think about their product and business all day every day. It’s easy to get stuck thinking from your company’s perspective rather than your customers’ perspective. However, if we want to be truly human-centered, solving customer needs while creating value for the business, we need to frame opportunities from our customers’ perspective.

    No customer would ever say, “I wish I had more streaming entertainment subscriptions.” But they might say, “I want access to more compelling content.” Review each opportunity on your tree and ask, “Have we heard this in interviews?” If you had to add opportunities to support the structure of your tree, you might ask, “Can I imagine a customer saying this?” Or are we just wishing a customer would say this?

    — Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Teresa Torres

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