Customer value is only created when an important, unmet customer outcome is improved. Period.

Sure, you can develop products that you find exciting. But unless these products address something customers find important and unsatisfied, don’t expect them to buy them. And if customers do buy your product, they certainly won’t pay a premium. If you’re not happy about this, you’ll have to complain to Adam Smith.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 8).

Lean Startup is fine for B2B… but don’t skip this extra “Learn” step.

The “Build-Measure-Learn” cycle in Lean Startup begins with a hypothesis, and is great for B2C. End-consumers can seldom tell you what will amuse them or increase their sense of self-worth. But knowledgeable B2B customer can predict their desired outcomes. So start with a “Learn” pre-step. Customers will tell you all you need if you know how to ask.

More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 3).

When it comes to commercial risk, you should build a Certainty Time Machine.

Consider three product development stages: front-end, development and launch. Most projects reach commercial certainty in the launch phase, as sales are monitored. But you can move this certainty to the front-end. Nearly all commercial uncertainty can be eliminated before development using the science of B2B customer insight.

More in white paper, Timing is Everything (page 6).

The forces moving a supplier from commodity to specialty come from within…or they don’t come at all.

There are many forces dragging your products toward commoditization: competitors trying to imitate your products… purchasing agents trying to standardize your products… new technologies trying to obsolete your products. In your quest toward specialty products, you’ll get no outside help. You own this one, baby.

More in article, The Commodity Death Spiral (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).