INNOWEO most read articles (a 6 months feedback)

05_10_15For 6 months now, INNOWEO is providing you with exclusive contents regarding innovation, corporate innovation and project management.

Time for me to have a look back and look at the most read articles on the website (not ranked).

  1. Your next product idea is right here, in front of you.
  2. INNOVATION TOOLS: design thinking tools that works in corporate
  3. INNOVATION TOOLS: How to create a Persona (Design Thinking)?
  4. 5 tips to use BM canvas wisely (and also other canvas)
  5. Open Innovation (1): What are your fears? & Open Innovation (2): good practices
  6. Qu’est ce que le « Design Thinking » ?
  7. The Leader’s guide: Why I kickstarted Eric Ries’s next book

I would also suggest to have a look at the following articles which are, I humbly think, really interesting.

The Art of A/B testing

THE ART OF A_B TESTINGA/B testing seems to be the holy graal of start-upers. It might seem easy at the first sight. But actually is a real science which combine marketing, design, statistics and… chance.

What is A/B testing?

Very simple indeed.

Let’s say that you have a product. whatever product it is of course, however A/B testing is mostly used for webdesign and inbound marketing as you can easily test and learn at high speed. So you have a product. You have 2 possibilities regarding this product:

  • A version = orange coloured
  • B version = blue coloured

However before launching the production you want to know which one will be sold mostly and thus product the one that people wants.

To do that you have an audience Z that you split into two groups:

  1. Z(A) will be proposed with the A version (orange)
  2. Z(B) will be proposed with the B version (blue)

And you wait until you know which of A or B version has been sold the most. That’s it you are done.

Of course A/B testing is based on an assumption that nobody will be able to prove. It stays in the fact that people in the Z(A) group will react exactly the same in front of your test and Z(B) people does… So to be sure that your test worth value, you have to achieve a certain amount of visitors to « average » some particular behaviour. So the most people visit your website, the most trusted your A/B test.

A/Z testing for INNOWEO

Imagine now that I want, on INNOWEO, to do some A/B testing. I have around 150 visitors per day. I would like to optimize the people joining my INNOWEO community (more than 100 members, join !!). I have several option to test:

  1. Put at the bottom of each post a invitation to join (A)
  2. Put on the side bar an invitation to join (B)
  3. Have a pop-up that invite you to join after 10 sec on the site (C)
  4. Have it highlighted in flashy green (D)
  5. …..

Lots of possibilities.

So I could do as the following:

  • One third of my audience will see the A version
  • One third will see the B version
  • One third the C version

That’s A/Z testing where you test multiple variables. I just have to check what produces the most members.

As for an information I have tested A and B version with greater results for B version, the actual one on INNOWEO. I have never tried the other. Should I?

Multiple variable testing

Let’s know imagine that you want to test the shape and colour of a button, sounds and image. You are now entering the world of statistics and combination. 4 buttons, 3 sounds, 3 images give 36 possibilities. You can manage it iteratively or test it statistically to reduce the testing time. Up to you. A good experiment plan is however a valuable help.

The marketing side

Of course if you A/B test your product it is because you want to know which version is the more suited to your goal. That’s marketing.

So before launching a A/B test campaign prepare it to be sure you will reach your goals:

  • define precisely what to test (color, size, media, shape…)
  • select what kind of testing method you will apply (that’s key because you will have to perform different tasks)
  • Select your comparison factor (sales, new members, click…)

This should be in full accordance with your ultimate goal.

Dangers of A/B testing

Lots of dangers in A/B testing. Some are listed here below.

  1. Testing something not relevant (don’t test everything, focus on UX)
  2. Stopping too early (A/B test should be statistically significant)
  3. Stopping it too late (you are loosing time)
  4. Awaiting an increase in sale (you are not trying to sell more but trying to understand how to communicate)

What to test first

I would say test whatever will give you some more information about your audience and how it reacts to your value proposition and communication channel:

  • test a landing page with a video (it is proven that video is highly engaging)
  • test testimonials (social proof)
  • test writing (is a « join now! » button more efficient that the « join for free » one?)
  • test super fast loading of landing page
  • test super short sign-up form
  • test value proposition (a xx$ coupon or a free shipping?)

Let’s go, just try as I am doing it now. You didn’t notice? 😉

Oh yes I forgot about the chance in that… Well you’ll see…

 

Why are patents a terrible way to measure Innovation.

patent In most corporates, patents are used as a KPI for innovation. Measuring innovation is a concern. Lots of indicators have been deployed and I haven’t seen so far one fully satisfactory. However if one is really bad at measuring innovation, this is « patents ». here are the reasons I classify « patents » as the worst indicator for innovation:

  1. Patents are not innovation
    Patents are a way to protect a development or a technology. Not to validate an innovation. Losts of patents are useless because there is no market, the technology is too expansive…
  2. To protect your innovation, patenting might not be the best solution
    When dealing with invention protection 3 alternatives are possible: *

    • Patent (just as most of corporate does), main advantage is that you will be the only one to use the technology but by publishing a patent you disclose the subjects you are working on.
    • Disclose (just as TESLA did). 2 strategies behind: « Catch me if you can » and impeaching other to protect it (as disclosed technologies cannot be patented afterwards)
    • Keep it secret. Risky if someone else patents your technologies but safe in the sense that nobody knows what you are working on and how you do it.
  3. Patents are not sales
    Are you sure that all your patents are generating cash for your organisation. It shound but is it really the case? Are your team patenting only things that will generate cash? Do you have the maturity to manage your patent portfolio in such a manner that 100% of your patents are useful for your business? Patenting to get patents and have an top level indicators is useless, and even more it is dangerous. Patents cost money and can cost a lot of money. « Patenting to patent » is even worth if your employees are rewarded when patenting…

A good article on the subject by the Washington post.

What is you prefered KPI for Innovation?

On My Shelf – My 8 preferred books on Innovation and Innovation projects

Innovation books collection

Lately a friend of mine asked me about what kind of books I would consider if asking about « must read » dealing with innovation: Here is my selection of 8 books that are, at the time, the ones I consider as the most valuable.

This is Service Design Thinking

This is Service Design Thinking
This is Service Design Thinking

More than any other books even more than any other website or TV show speaking about IDEO, this is how I have discover Design Thinking and especially SERVICE Design Thinking. Still one of my favourite reference and reading. A comprehensive and useful website is available.

Lean Start-up

Lean Start-up by Eris ries
Lean Start-up by Eris ries

Is there really a need to come back to the Lean Start-up by Eric Ries? Nope. I have been deeply inspired by this book to develop my own approach of Lean Start-up in corporate, used in my company with wonderful results. If you had to choose one…

Business Model Canva and Value Proposition Design

Business Model canva et Value proposition design
Business Model canva et Value proposition design

The sister’s books that worth the reading. I have used and then spread it all around in my company. Benefits? Having a dedicated and common framework and vocabulary to speak about business model and value proposition and more than that, having engineers thinking about business 😉

The Standard for Portfolio Management

Standard for portfolio managementDealing with Innovation projects is nothing else but managing a portfolio of projects. Thus the standard from the PMI(c) is fundamental because before being « innovation » they are « projects » a must be properly managed. pmi.org

Innovation Jugaad

Innovation Jugaad
Innovation Jugaad

In a time where money is missing and when you have to be more and more effective to be sure that every € you put inot innovation will produce some more € as a business, it is vital to do more with less. That’s what Innovation Jugaad is teaching!

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Réussir une négociation
Réussir une négociation

Here is the French version of the famous negotiation book from Roger Fisher and the Havard Negotiation Project. A very useful book for Innovators and for everybody as we all have to negotiate one day or another. Most true for innovators who deals everyday

Les systèmes de suggestion en révolution (idea management in revolution)

I don’t know about the english title of this book but as it has been written by the wonderful Bernie Sander it was originally in english.  A very interesting book for those who have to run an idea management system.

Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution
Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution

Do you see some more to add? Leave a comment!

Your next product idea is right here, in front of you.

Well, exactly it is in front of your future customer but as you are customer oriented you are in front of them so…

I have been asked lately about one product manager of my company about how to have great products ideas. I told him that I had no direct answer for him but I could try to help anyway.

To find good product ideas, follow the steps: 😉

  1. Talk to your customers.
    They will pay for your product so ask them what they want, what are their concern, what should be « Whahou!! »
  2. Find a problem to solve
    That’s key. No one will pay an extra € or $ for something that fix… nothing. So try to find an issue and solve it. An important issue of course. An issue for which people are ready to spend some money to avoid it. Pierre Valade, the founder of Sunrise, tells that he is focusing on everything that takes more than 5 min a day.
  3. Know your market
    What are the exisitng product? What are the leaders? Why? What are their advantages, their limits? Read online merchant website to know what people think about it…
  4. Focus on User Experience
    That makes sense. Focus on what will your customer feels when he/she will use your product. That’s key.
  5. Test it, refine it, reTest it (and rewind)
    testing is key for product development. Getting feedback is so more important that it should be your fist concern. By getting feedback you can adjust your product to your market needs and identify your market. Do and redoing it, both parameters will be assessed: market and product design.