Why do some products fail while others succeed? That question keeps many CEOs, venture capitalists, employees, and shareholders up at night. The following are tips, guidelines, and success secrets extracted from the “The Secrets of Tuned In Leaders” by by Craig Stull, Phil Myers & David Meerman Scott.

  • With the startup company and the first product, the germ of a good idea comes from an innovation that solves a problem customers have. | Marc Sokol, co-founder of Realia.
  • Work as a Trusted Advisor. Instill a company culture of working as trusted advisors to prospects and customers alike.
  • We look for trends in the marketplace that will cause spiraling complexity for our customers and
    develop products that address these challenges. We did talk to publishers about feeds but mostly we saw change coming and built products to solve the problems we anticipated coming. | Dick Costolo, co-founder.
  • I believe most great product ideas come from somebody bumping into a problem that nobody is solving through personal observation.| Pat Sullivan, creator of ACT!
  • Build from the Outside-In. The most important thing they do is to live in the prospect’s world and look at all the touch points that matter.
  • We keep figuring out what our buyers (the auto dealers) need. We still have our own dealership but we go into many others to find the problems other dealers have—not just with our type of product but with
    all kinds of products from other vendors. | Mark Bonfigli, Dealer.com
  • Simple is Smart. The best companies create solutions that are narrow and deep. They organize around a single market problem and solve it completely with a solution that to the buyer seems simple, obvious and most importantly handles all the related tasks in one easy step.
  • Everything revolves around the market segment we focus on and are trying to form as deep a relationship as we can with our customers. Those intimate relationships with customers are the most important thing for us.| Don Bulens ,OfficerEqualLogic
  • Leadership is Distributed. Top down is much less likely to succeed. At many of the struggling companies we’ve worked with, strategies for the business have been developed outside of an understanding
    of market problems.
  • A key aspect was to instill an innovation program that pushed responsibility down to general managers and product managers for the total use experience. | Steve Bennett, Intuit
  • Stop Being a Vendor. Industry leaders don’t push solutions at their customers and walk away.
    Instead, they develop programs to partner with their customers in the process of continuous problem solving.
  • We won people’s business because we listened and they know we listened. If I lost six customers a year I would really study why we lost those customers— why had they lost faith in us? We would ask, ‘what does it take to get your business back? Jim Malcolm founder and CEO AccuMap EnerData Corp.
  • Marketing with a Big “M”. Successful companies understand marketing is not just promotion and advertising. Industry leaders focus first on the marketplace and identifying market problems that exist and can
    be solved with technology.
  • Measure only what Matters. Metrics will help answer questions such as: Should you increase spending to build new and innovative products? Should you expand your marketing programs? Develop new channels? Increase or decrease your marketing staff?

Taken from The Secrets of Tuned In Leaders