This Entrepreneurial Thought Leader podcast with Eric Ries is extremely insightful in terms of leveraging the enthusiasm of your early adopters, to make sure you are creating the change that your customers (whether internal or external) actually want. As we at wHolistic ChangeSM have mentioned before, when you find people who recognize the need to change and who want to be a part of it, invite them in and listen to what they have to say!
In this lesson from a Silicon Valley start up, Mr. Ries’ previous company had failed miserably, so he and some friends launched a new company and decided to make a product that would ship in 6 months. They were determined to find out early on what customers actually wanted. In his own words, they developed a horrible software product with limited features that had lots of bugs and that few people bought. What they found was that certain people DID buy their product that basically didn’t do anything: these are true early adopters.
Who are the early adopters? People who are buying the vision of the product (or change) that they think it will eventually be. Mr. Ries contends that early adopters are often extremely visionary, and by keeping in constant communication the early adopters teach the sponsors and change team important lessons about what the product (or change) needs to become to achieve mainstream success!
I am including this clip from his hour long talk, and will be blogging more next week about the other insights Mr. Ries learned from his failures and his successes.