In an era of rapid technical development and fierce global competition the importance of continuously being attentive and having your ears to the ground, really knowing your market and customer, becomes greater than ever. This to both understand your customers as much as possible to be able to create value offerings based on better predictions and bigger customer visions (leaps of faith), as well as minimizing the subsequent risks when navigating under uncertainty. In this case how to best confront unknown or insufficiently explored market conditions and demands.
New and modern models for accomodating these conditions, such as “customer development” and “lean startup”, is gaining ground and finding success due to their nature of building upon continuously balancing product vision with market/customer risk. An adaption of product/service development on one side, and prevailing market conditions on the other. As well as the changing weight of influence and interdependency between these two sides. Moving in different directions and with constantly changing inherent properties and conditions of both the product side (tech feasibility, budget etc) and market side (customer signals, competition etc), it’s a balancing act in need of really adaptive development efforts to create and maintain a competitive edge.
We are convinced that all successful business endeavours are based on a vivid and continuous customer dialog. A constant validation of your business propositions against the market, by constantly keeping the fingers on the customers pulse. Put your value offerings in front of your target customer as soon as possible, already in early development phases, and then develop it further with and based on constant customer feedback. But don’t ask them explicitly what they want. They don’t really know what they want. Propose something, based on your assumptions of customer needs, wants and visions for today, tomorrow and further into the future, and then study their reactions and feedback. And learn from it.