How customer insights and long-term strategies helped in creating breakthrough products #BreakthroughWinners

3/ This is why all breakthrough products in their report started with an insight about a major customer struggle.

E.g. “Cat piss so bad, I’m ashamed to invite guests home”

or “I don’t like either sugary drinks or artificially sweetened drinks. What should I have?”

4/ As you read the case studies in the report, it’ll become evident how:

– None of them started with a technology insight

Rather they started with a customer insight and searched for the right technology to satisfy that job (sometime for years).

5/ What’s super-interesting is that the biggest customer pains are right under our nose if we decide to ask the right question (which we don’t ask because we know it is impossible).

Like, what if you could provide Michellin 3 star salad experience at home, for everyone?

6/ Remember: successful products NAIL the customer circumstances through multiple iterations of interviews, testing and product tweaking.
7/ This process means from insight to launch, it can easily take years.

The report emphasizes the importance of getting it right for breakthrough innovations. You simply can’t rush your way into $50million dollar year-1 sales. (Besides relying on luck)

8/ What stood out to me was also that it was not the individual genius that produced breakthrough products, but rather it was top-down C-level commitment to:

– Fund category-creation innovation
– Change incentives for teams working on innovation to not focus on short term


– Not encourage pet-projects but encourage innovation process
– Patient for results, impatient for iterations
– Solid consumer insights and market research team

11/ Another thing I need to get better at is a nuanced understanding of customer circumstances.

What are they struggling with can only be answered if there’s a rich understanding of what context do they find themselves in?

12/ Last point: it was also interesting to note that the LAUNCH process of these products started a full year or two before the actual launch.

These firms realized that scaling an idea to production is no trivial challenge. Even panaceas need sourcing of ingredients.

13/ I’m frankly amazed how retails share business case, testing experiments, customer stories with their retail partners to get their buy-in before rollout.

Getting distribution right is perhaps an equal (if not bigger) contributor to breakthrough product success as product is.

14/ That’s it.

Hope you enjoyed the thread. If you have specific snippets/insights from the report, that caught your eye, share them in this thread.

» NextBigWhat’s #Threadmill brings you curated wisdom from Twitter threads on product, life and growth.


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