Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lead User Developement Process

I've been reading up on new developement process and one that caught my eye is "Lead User Development Process" developed at MIT.

Lead users have two characteristics:
1. they expect relatively high benefits
2. their needs are at “the leading edge of the market”

Lead users present strong needs that will become general in the marketplace in the future and hence serve as a need forecasting laboratory for marketing research.

But what's really innovative about this new concept is that lead users can provide new product concept and design data as well. Designing for extreme characters is a technique that takes the opposite approach. Instead of designing for characters that are emotionally shallow, the developement process designs for characters that have exaggerated emotional attitudes.

For example, if you perform a normal requirement analysis to develop a new query tool for Oracle, then you will end up with a query tool that works like any other query tool out there. But if you use a Lead User for requirement analysis, like some admin who experienced fixing the database at 3AM in the morning, then you will end up with an innovative query tool.

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