Focus. It makes everything clearer. But no one can focus on everything all the time.

In my experience, new product success or failure hinges on the innovator’s ability to find and articulate just ONE key and critical benefit. The challenge? The innovator and team also need to measure that benefit, prove that it can be realized, and make it relevant for the average customer. This endeavor requires cross-functional collaboration, patience and focus.

The challenge is that your environment can create a lot of noise. As an innovator, you share your critical benefit, and the first person to give feedback says, “yeah, that’s great…I’d also really like ____.” So you get that feature in for customer 1. Customer 2 likes your product, but they have their own special ask. Now, all of a sudden you have your amazing solution, but you also have two other features that cost you money to develop but aren’t necessarily critical to the value of the product. They bring support workload, likely a new feature backlog, and so on. Now, the next version of your super innovative product might have to take a backseat to all these customer requests…But the customer is always right, right? (hint: not always)

Meanwhile, the priorities of measuring feature benefit, proving realization of that benefit, and making it relevant for the average customer begin to become overwhelming tasks. There are approaches and quantitative tools to help address this dilemma. If you’re experiencing this challenge in your innovation process, this blog will tackle some of the issues. Stay tuned.