What’s your problem?
Jason Stirman
151

Great question. When the most innovative & disruptive products first appeared in the marketplace, they all certainly solved a customer problem. Given that most consumers fortunately aren’t dealing with critical, life & death issues every day, solving a “problem” simply means simplifying a process and making someone’s life more convenient.

A great example is Netflix. In the grand scheme of things returning movie rentals to a video store on time wasn’t that problematic, but having the ability to drop an envelope in the mailbox at my leisure (rather than driving to a video store) was certainly more convenient. And not even needing to wait for the DVD to arrive in the mail to watch a movie eliminated even more friction.

Making the graphics smoother in Madden ’16, increasing a car’s gas mileage, or improving the camera in a smartphone are incremental improvements to existing products that, at one point, did deliver innovative & problem solving customer experiences.

I see where you’re going with the video game example. I think you could make a case for a different standard for successful entertainment-oriented products like film, music, television, and video games.

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