Product Management Tactics — Feedback Finds Solutions

KEY TAKEAWAY

Demand-side innovation uses feedback from consumers and finds solutions. That works better than supply-side innovation, which will fail if the demand is not present.

OUR TAKE

Once we can actually define innovation — it’s not just as simple to say, “OK… let’s innovate!”   Bob Moesta previously explained his take on innovation as something that is new, but has the potential to change society.  But… what if society doesn’t actually want to change?

In this video, Bob Moesta gives the example of a hospital working to create programs to help people reduce the risk of a heart attack.  There are incredibly gifted scientists and doctors that have put so much research into what can actually stop cardiovascular-related illnesses, such as a heart attack.  It turns out that, among other things, eating smart and exercising regularly are two of the best things that somebody can do.  At this point, this isn’t a new discovery. This is now a widely known fact. And if everybody simply did these things, it’s likely that the number of heart attacks that people experience would dramatically fall.

So, what’s the problem? If it’s a common belief that eating better and exercising can prevent heart-related disease and illnesses, why doesn’t everybody simply do this?  Some people simply aren’t motivated to change. This is one of the problems of supply-side innovation, as Moesta points out. There can be truly innovative products that may have a big, positive impact on society if they were used.  However, people simply aren’t motivated to use them. When this is the case, the businesses behind these products have a higher chance of failing.

Demand-side innovation, however, is different.  It’s focusing on problems that people not only want to change, but are actively trying to change already.  If truly innovative products were brought to market to focus on these problems, the companies behind these products would likely find a very motivated crop of potential customers who are more than willing to invest time and resources in trying their product.  

Of course, it’s simplistic to think that we can all just focus on demand-side innovation, and POOF — we’re raking in dollars from our world-changing products.  But, as Moesta contends, there is a difference and it’s a great thing for product people to understand the differences.