Kriti Vichare writes about the life of innovators and entrepreneurs as a doodler/cartoonist at #Entrepreneur Fail, which she co-founded. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Under30CEO, and Business2Community, plus many more. She also serves as the Director of Innovation for the United States Postal Service and previously worked for PepsiCo as a Senior Marketing Manager and Kraft Foods as an Associate Brand Manager.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers, Developers, and Innovators
Highlights from the discussion include:
- Kriti describes her career path as a cartoonist would – started in statistics, moved to selling juice, and now sells mail for a living.
- Statistics provided a good foundation for quantitative decision making and presenting information.
- At Kraft, Kriti managed the Tang product (originally an orange drink made from powder popularized when NASA astronauts drank it in space), and learned through market research that a trend among Tang drinkers had changed. Reformulating Tang to use real sugar brought customers back.
- Some product ideas are good concepts, but need to wait for the right timing. An example of the right timing is the creation of single-serve powder beverages. Kraft tried to commercialize the product for 20 years, but it was the surge in bottled water sales that finally created a market opportunity.
- Providing engineers, developers, and others on cross-functional product/brand teams with experiences from actual customers is motivating.
- Showing video of customers using your product is a good means of generating important support from business functions who can help improve products. By seeing the customer experiences, employees understand the importance of their work, generating motivation to make products even better.
- Kriti learned the most about innovation and product management when she left the corporate world and founded her own startup.
- She skipped validating her product idea with potential customers and plummeted into creating it. After floundering for a bit, she read the Lean Startup and started applying concepts she was already familiar with, such as the Minimum Viable Product.
- She quickly learned the best marketing is a great product – something that offers compelling value to customers.
- Her startup misadventures and failures led to #Entrepreneur Fail, cartoons and commentary on being a new entrepreneur developing products.
- #Entrepreneur Fail cartoons, like the one below, are found at http://entrepreneurfail.com/
- Entrepreneur Fail – laugh to launch! Bite-size, visual lessons for first-time entrepreneurs!
- Kriti on Twitter
- If you are thinking about leaving your corporate job and developing your own product, read Kriti’s eBook “Cheating on Your Corporate Job: A Comic Look at The Startup Dream.”
“Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” – attributed to Benjamin Franklin and others
Listen Now to the Interview
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.