Why is it so many companies build products without ever talking to customers? And why is it several products fail despite a plethora of customer interviews?
The motivation to build a new product or technology typically comes as an inspiration, or an observation of a pain point either viewed directly or indirectly. The assumption then lies that this problem, or more importantly its solution, will be precious to more people than just the observer.
All this is garbage until we really understand why the customer is looking to solve the problem. Once that understanding is there (by asking and working with the customer(s)), then it becomes easier to spot common problems faced by the customer base.
Solving the Motion Recognition Problem
At Kiwi, we solve motion recognition as a problem for our customers, because we faced that problem ourselves several years ago. We didn't immediately realize that other people had a similar pain point (because we were too busy solving our own problem). However, since then we learned a great deal from working closely with several customers from the beginning.
Our customers typically have the perspective that what they really want to do are very specific tasks, and unique to them, given all the context that they have around their own product. Our job is to separate the commonality from the specific, and continue to add the commonalities to our product to further speed up testing, development and deployment time for our customers.
In the past two years, we have shipped five major versions of our product - each of which has contained more features built to solve common problems across our customer base. We are happy to be building technology that works, and drives tangible benefits to our customers in terms of time and effort.
What Do Your Customers Really Want?
Wearable tech will take many more years to fully demonstrate its potential impacts and challenges for our society. Our role in building the future is to build reliable motion recognition software tools to realize the positive impacts and manage some of the challenges.
All in all, to truly solve problems your customers really have, you must listen to them. Why are they looking for a solution? What is it they're trying to solve? Do they really know what they want? These are questions you need to ask before you can truly build something useful.