Friday, October 21, 2011

Rapid Prototyping Works For The Landscaping Business As Well

My wife and I are getting some landscaping done in our backyard. We got the design done and got some quotes from a few landscapers. Many of them came and looked at the design, discussed the design, went away and send us the quotes.

One of them however, listened to us carefully and identified that we were not clear about what to do about some existing trees. We were wondering if we should prune the leaves and keep them or remove them completely. He said, "Why don't I just prune one tree and show you how it might look so that you can make up your mind." Within minutes, he got his tools out, pruned two out of the 8 trees and showed us how the garden might look.

Things became clear and we took the decisions. Guess who got our landscaping business? The guys who stood around and talked or the guy who quickly showed us how things might look. That was a trick question. Of course the guys who rolled up his sleeves and showed us a glimpse of how things might look got our business.

It struck me that this is how our customers might feel when we show the prototypes of future products. Now I have a better understanding of how they feel when they see a prototype rather than a bunch of slides. I now understand why we have huge participation in our co-innovation program when we show a prototype rather than a bunch of slides. Are you still showing 25 slides in an hour and boring your customers to death. Is that getting you anywhere?

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