The Shared Principles of Successful Businesses: Understanding People and Pushing Boundaries


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 10, 2023

3 min read


The Shared Principles of Successful Businesses: Understanding People and Pushing Boundaries

In today's competitive market, creating a great product requires a deep understanding of people's desires and behaviors. By observing how people interact with a product and being curious about their needs, businesses can gain valuable insights that drive innovation and success.

First impressions play a crucial role in shaping opinions about a product. Most opinions are formed within the first few minutes of interacting with an app or using a service. This initial experience provides users with a sense of the product's value proposition, usability, and craftsmanship. To effectively critique a product, it is essential to consider how these first impressions are formed and what the team behind the product is doing to create them.

However, relying solely on personal impressions may not provide a comprehensive view of the product's strengths and weaknesses. Getting additional perspectives from users and experts in the field can offer valuable insights into what works and what doesn't in the broader market. Reading reviews, comments, and tweets about a product can give a more holistic understanding of its reception and identify areas for improvement.

Observation is key to developing better product instincts. There is no shortcut to honing these instincts other than keen and close observation. By closely observing people's behaviors, motivations, and preferences, designers and product thinkers can create great experiences that resonate with users. The best designers and product thinkers understand what motivates, delights, and intrigues people. This understanding allows them to build products that meet users' needs and exceed their expectations.

Now, let's consider the shared principles of successful businesses like IKEA, a furniture retailer, a Japanese-style barbecue restaurant, and the Kumon method, an educational program.

IKEA and the barbecue restaurant share a common business model that involves pushing certain tasks onto customers while adding an element of entertainment. In the case of IKEA, customers are responsible for assembling their furniture, which can be seen as a form of interaction and engagement. Similarly, at a barbecue restaurant, customers are actively involved in grilling their meat, creating an interactive and entertaining dining experience. By integrating these tasks into the customer experience, these businesses create a win-win situation where customers feel empowered and entertained while reducing costs on their end.

The Kumon method, on the other hand, focuses on the essence of its business model. The program simplifies the process of learning to read, write, and calculate by modeling it and allowing children to self-study. The role of the teacher is merely to support and guide the students, even without formal teaching experience. This streamlined approach enables efficient learning and creates a scalable business model.

In conclusion, successful businesses share the principles of understanding people's desires and behaviors, as well as pushing boundaries to create unique and engaging experiences. To apply these principles to your own endeavors, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Prioritize understanding your target audience: Invest time and effort in getting to know your customers, their motivations, and their pain points. Conduct user research, gather feedback, and observe their behaviors to gain insights that will inform your product development process.
  • 2. Continuously observe and learn: Be curious about people and their behaviors. Embrace a mindset of constant learning and improvement. Stay up to date with industry trends, read reviews, and engage with your audience on social media to stay connected and gain valuable perspectives.
  • 3. Find innovative ways to engage your customers: Look for opportunities to involve your customers in the product experience. Whether it's through interactive features, customization options, or self-service elements, finding ways to make your customers active participants can enhance their satisfaction and create a memorable experience.

By incorporating these principles and taking actionable steps, you can improve your product instincts, create products that resonate with your target audience, and build a successful business. Remember, understanding people and pushing boundaries are the keys to unlocking your full potential in the ever-evolving world of business.

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