Discoveries Newsletter

Volume 9, #3, May 2011
What gets in the way of finding out what ails your customers?
by Sheila Mello

A friend's seventh-grade son (let's call him Rob) was stumped for weeks by his school's annual "Invention Fair." The fair organizers did a great job of attempting to foster creativity among the you

Volume 9, #2, March 2011
Ditch the justifications and immunize your company against lost opportunity
by Sheila Mello

Over the years I have helped scores of companies develop rigorous voice-of-the-customer programs so they can understand at a deep level what stands in the way of their customers' success and define

Volume 9, #1, January 2011
How tasty pizza and smelly diesel figure into your work as a product developer
by Sheila Mello

We talk a lot about "creating value for the customer" when designing and developing products.

Volume 8, #9, December 2010
Innovation and the Fear Factor
by Sheila Mello

When creating products, a short-term focus only works for so long; tweaking existing market winners and responding incrementally to customer needs is not a recipe for long-term success. Fear of investing in ideas that might fail consigns you perpetually to also-ran status.

Volume 8, #8, November 2010
5 Steps to Banish the Bogeyman
by Sheila Mello

"Scary and unpredictable" is fine for Halloween eve, but not so great for business. These five product development imperatives can help you clearly see what dangers may lurk in the night.

Volume 8, #7, September 2010
Three Common Metrics Missteps―and Where to Step Instead
by Wayne Mackey

You've probably heard the statement, "You can't manage what you can't measure." Unfortunately, many companies approach metrics in a well-intentioned but counterproductive way. Here we describe three common metrics missteps and explain why they are problematic.

Volume 8, #6, August 2010
How to Get to Know Your Customers... Before It's Too Late
by Sheila Mello

The biggest risk to your company right now probably isn't bankruptcy. But losing market share to competitors or being blindsided by other companies doing a better job of capturing their customers' emotions and experiences... those scenarios can become your motivation to take action long before your company runs out of cash and time.

Volume 9, #5, June 2010
Assessing Your Company's Innovation Maturity
by Sheila Mello

To understand whether it's safe to give your R&D department the corporate equivalent of the keys to the family car—and figure out what to do if it's not—you need a framework for evaluating maturity.

Volume 7, #4, June 2009
Are You Becoming Irrelevant?
by Sheila Mello

Questions about mission and strategy are always challenging, perhaps more so for established businesses. But, like any industry in crisis because of a looming discontinuity, the news business needs to completely re-evaluate its reason for being.

Volume 7, #3, April 2009
What Kind of Statistic Will You Become?
by Sheila Mello

Investing during a downturn can be a sound strategy, but few companies do it. What separates those who do from those who don't?