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  • Stephen Narsoo

Dogged customer centricity may lead to low levels of innovation

There is an overwhelming amount of emphasis in the start-up community on customer centricity. This is the new buzz word. But an over-emphasise on customer centricity may actually result in low levels of innovation. Often times customers want problems solved that they can easily grasp. These problems while important, may not be the problems that are sufficiently audacious which can lead to new thinking. Maybe customers don't really want to be disruptive, don't need to rock the boat, or change the status quo. Maybe they simply want to solve problems at a level that is comprehensible. This may be great for performance scorecards but not so great for innovation. Entrepreneurs solving problems at this level may find themselves in a low innovation trap. The low innovation trap, does exactly that, traps the entrepreneur and customer in a place where innovation is stifled. Instead as an entrepreneur push customers to define more epic goals, try to get to the real root of the problem, think of the problems from all angles. My advice: 1) Don't be a slave to customer centricity 2) Be brave to innovate 3) Define a big hairy audacious problem together with your customer. You may just be able to escape the low innovation trap!


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