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Why Your “I Wish This Tool Existed”
Idea Could be a Market Hit

Individual inventors, who invent products for themselves have higher chances to succeed on a market. Why?

These products were invented or dreamed up to solve actual problems, real problems the individuals needed to solve.They didn’t wish this tool or idea existed , they were not able to find other solutions and chose to create their own. And if they had a problem, chances are high that someone else is facing similar challenges.

Let me share my own recent invention, a device which projects lines on treadmills to improve running. While preparing for a triathlon, I realized I needed to improve my feet position.

This task takes conscious efforts with each step to ensure that feet are positioned correctly.

My idea was a device with a laser that will show where my feet need to land with each step. This device can train my brain and my body so my feet land right each time I step, thanks to Pavlov’s effect – the more you do something, the quicker it will  become a habit.

There are no similar products on the market and there are thousands, if not millions of runners, who need similar training. A problem in my everyday life with no solution – it made me think.

The marketing world has a simple framework –  “Job Gets Done”. Given that marketing and new product development both strive to make the life of a potential customer better, this framework is very applicable in product development. The phrase simply reminds us to invent products which do a job and do that job right.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

Theodore Levitt

Why do I think this way? The structure of a market, seen from the customers’ point of view, is very simple: They just need to get things done, as Ted Levitt said. When people find themselves needing to get a job done, they essentially hire products to do that job for them.

The marketer’s or inventor’s task is therefore, to understand what jobs arise in customers’ lives and determine which jobs they might use products to do. They could then make these products.

If an inventor or product manager can understand the job, or even experience the need for it himself, then he can design a product to do that job, and deliver it in a way that reinforces its intended use. When customers find themselves needing to accomplish that goal, they will hire that product.

In other words, the job, not the customer, is the fundamental factor when deciding to move forward with an idea. By developing a product that completes that job, the customers will buy. And while testing prototypes or even market size feasibility – those customers are the best go-no go factors.

Pierre Omidyar did not design eBay for the “auction psychographic.”

He founded it to help people sell personal items. Google was designed for the job of finding information, not for a “search demographic.” The unit of analysis in the work that led to Procter & Gamble’s stunningly successful Swiffer was the job of cleaning floors, not a demographic or psychographic study of people who mop. All these companies reached success their founders most likely hadn’t even dreamed about.

New growth markets are born when innovative individuals or companies design a product and position its brand to do a job for which no optimal product yet exists.

In fact, large and small companies that historically have segmented and measured the size of their markets by product category generally find that when they instead segment by job, their market is much larger, and their current share of the job is much smaller, than they had thought originally. This is great news for smart companies hungry for growth.

Keep all this in mind when inventing new products or researching ideas for new product lines:

– Discover an actual challenge you or your customers are trying to solve (Job).

– Identify when a person experiences the challenge? During pregnancy? Home renovation? Organizing their desk? Or business process workflow? Circumstances are more important than customer characteristics, product attributes, new technologies, or trends.

– Design a solution. Good innovations solve problems that currently have inadequate solutions, or no solution at all.

– Jobs are never simply about function. Generally they have powerful social and emotional dimensions. Keep notes of what you or your customers experience, even phrases you use to describe the challenge.

– Design, prototype, and test the product yourself and with the target audience. Repeat this process until you have the solution which best solves the problem.

– Create customer experiences when delivering the message and performing the job.

– Align internal and external processes. Start with the design, prototyping, and market entry processes and continue with all other processes until consumers will understand and be able to use your solution.

While inventing your product, keep track of all the emotions, thoughts, and phrases you had when looking for a solution. Write them all down. This information is priceless when it comes to designing a marketing message and shaping value propositions.

Don’t wish this tool or idea exists, create it! 

Have you ever wish this tool existed ? Don’t wish! create with us !

If your organization would like to work with us to solve a problem and develop a new product, you can reach us at hello@lanpdt.com or schedule a consultation now!




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LA New Product Development Team is a comprehensive product development firm, offering services from idea generation and product design to manufacturing and marketing. LANPDT collaborates with startups and established businesses to transform concepts into market-ready innovations.

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