A Common Framework & Post Launch Metrics – Podcast Transcript

Innovation Metrics Podcast

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Episode Transcript

Jael

We often underestimate what we can achieve in a year. And we overestimate what we can do in a day. That’s the mother of stress.

Intro

Welcome to the innovation metrics podcast, where we bring you the latest on innovation management. We provide insights on how to measure innovation, innovation, accounting, and managing the uncertain process of developing new, sustainable, and profitable business models. You can find links to the main topics covered in this episode and information about the guests and hosts in the show notes, or go to our blog on innovation metrics.co. Your host is Aaliyah island.

Elijah

So rather than me explaining who your background, welcome to the show jail. And do you mind telling us about yourself?

Jael

Sure. Thanks for having me off on a show today. Jail. I have been a corporate innovator for the last 12 years of my life in a large FMCG or CPG company in the last four years specifically, I was actually very much anchored around, innovating on a, you know, innovation system within a large corporate company and also driving the actual innovation strategy and how it translates into activities and projects on a smaller scale. So you can see from a system and innovation to innovating the strategy, as well as the innovation projects that then land in the markets. So that was, there was what I have been doing professionally for 12 and a half years in a company. Recently, I started my own gig doing consultancy and coaching for leaders and teams around innovation systems innovating as well as their own lives and their own career. So that’s really keeping me a lot excited this day.

Elijah

What’s what’s your company called? The current ones shared with

Jael

The current company is called level up, up with three please.com. Yeah. So you can find more in the show notes.

Elijah

Yeah, we certainly put all the links in here. Wonderful. Yeah. Fantastic. Great. Yeah. Cool. So, so today we want to start off with exploring the, the problems that corporates have specific corporate staff with after a product is launched. An innovative product is launched specifically, how do we, why do we need a different way of measuring? What do we want to look out for and why do we measure in the first place? Right. So I guess the issue is, and correct me. One of the issues is that when, when we finally decide that we should launch a product at, at a certain scale and it doesn’t perform the way we we anticipated. Right? So that, that happens right.

Jael

80% of the time, I think,

Elijah

Wonderful. 80% of the time. I think this is really an interesting, an interesting issue. I’ve been a while ago, I’ve been looking into it and it’s, you know, for obvious reasons, it’s really hard to find really good data. I remember that one of the, I forgot what industry it was. I think the highest success rate was around 40%. Like that was sort of the best thing in an industry. And that was probably more adjacent products, you know, like changing, changing small things or so I’m not quite sure.

Jael

Yeah. And because this episode is about metrics, I would like to understand the, when you talk about the 40%, what, what is the success metric for those?

Elijah

Yeah, that’s fantastic. Right. That’s a really good question. So I think what we, I don’t know that that’s a clear answer. I don’t know. I mean, it was a while ago when I looked into, into that is success even defined in most from, for most projects clearly is really the question to ask your bag. Do you think that is often the case that success is clearly defined or is there a failed criteria in with each launch clearly?

Jael

So from a corporate setting, success is very typically defined by the absolute person over or the gross margin or profitability. One of these financial metrics, right? The supply chain team may think of success as how many units can we shift out of the factory. I would be able to forecast the demand and the supply accurately. That could be their success metric, you know, for the general manager of the country, the success might be okay, are we profitable? Can we have a good story to tell the global HQ? So successes

Elijah

Wonderful, wonderful, perfect. And when we stay with the financial success criteria, I think very quickly, very quickly, we can see that this is what we would call typically, what you just described is what we would typically call a lagging indicator. So lagging indicator such as return on investment is something that is lagging, softer. Everything already happened for a while. So it doesn’t really tell us whether or not we need to change course. So as somebody like you, who really wants to know early on whether or not you have to change, course that is not satisfying. Is that correct?

Jael

Exactly. There’s, that’s very correct. And to build on that and to expand a little bit in, you know, traditional brick and mortar kind of product and channel channel is how we reach consumers and customers. The idea of pivoting is not very often heard. Anyway, if you think about the industrial style of innovating and putting products into the hands of the consumers or the customers is a very long set process that is kind of set in stone. It’s not like a button where you can stop and then tweak and then do it again, which is what I think, you know, I’ve been in the industry for 17, 18 years, and people don’t talk about pivots the ones, one thing, which is the market. And simply because it’s hard to do, I think in the 1980s, when Toyota started the idea of agile, that was very interesting, right?

Jael

Because in an auto mobile company or industry, you don’t really stop the factory to do tweaks because then the cost time to restart and so on, you lose productivity, but Toyota realized, okay, I’ve given the Liberty to one factory to do whatever they want. They learned how to make pivots along the way, even though in the first year of their experiments, they reduce production dramatically. After that, it took off. Why? Because the little pivots actually improved productivity so much. So bringing the analogy back into corporate innovation is actually, I would say at least in the company I used to work with people started to become more aware of the need to pivot and hence this whole conversation came about.

Elijah

So we know that the term pivot and probably most, most listeners who listen to a show like this would be familiar with that, but that’s because we’re mostly concerned with trying to find product market fit. And that is properly not very well defined either, but you know, trying to get to the point basically of saying, Hey, let’s scale this thing. Right? And then, then we see if we can scale it. And then we hit other issues. But is, was that, is that in the context of your former work, was that always clear? Was that said, Hey, this product has got product market fit. Now let’s scale. It is, that was that, is that what happened? What was the, or what was the terminology? Was that at least used? Yeah,

Jael

Smiling widely because there’s no such concept as incubation or a small scale launch. Remember we are coming from the industrial age. Everything is done at scale from day one. So if there is a mistake, that mistake is a huge mistake. Yeah. At least from the company that I was working with, we push a button, then everything gets made. Everything gets shit. If it doesn’t sell, it sits in the store houses or the warehouses and then writes offs happen. So if there is really no product market fit, nobody to buy the retailers or the customers and return this stock to us, we buy them back, you know, and then this products appear as free gifts for employees costing a lot of business waste. And now we are all into sustainability. You can imagine the amount of raw material waste that has gone into the way. And of course from an ROI perspective or return on investment perspective as a complete disaster for the team and the whole

Elijah

Experiment you can imagine. Right. Exactly.

Jael

So you’ll feel on a big scale.

Elijah

And that was every single time. So we were like, where you used to work at that time, at least that was, you did not have a, a different system implemented where or where you made small, smaller bets beforehand.

Jael

Yeah, indeed. The whole innovation system within the company has pivots as changed to allow for that smaller experiments upfront before we pushed, you know, make 10 million units button. Right. So before producing say 10 million units, we’ve learned that we needed to work on smaller scale experiments or would it be loading fast, fail fast in order to make a better success.

Elijah

Yeah. Wonderful. So within that system, then that, that was then eventually established. There was a, so you, that had that moment where you said, okay, this product has pre-market fit and it has enough risk reduced that we can launch it at larger scale, basically. Right. Did that have a name like th was that, was there an overarching system to that? Was there an overarching terminology such as something similar to product market fit, maybe a different term assault.

Jael

Okay. So we have different gatekeeping processes. So every time we pass a particular date, so he’s like a farmer, right. You’ve passed a particular date, then you can progress to the next thing where more investment is made, more commitments are made. And when, you know, there’s a product launched position, and again, there’s no incubation, so that’s no small scale. Let’s make 1000 units see how the sales go is like, okay, we make is a, is a proper launch. We have moved from the pilot plant where we make 1000 units for in-house experiments. And then we go and do the mass production. So that, that is the moment at which we decide we’re going to push launch.

Elijah

Wonderful. Great. Okay. So, so this is really nice. So for us, because of today, we want to see it often. What, what I’m busy with is to say, Hey, what metrics do we need before we say launch? So, you know, how, how, how large does the sample size need to be? Right. What kind of evidence, how much uncertainty is acceptable and so on and so on. But what we want to get to today is, Hey, even then we, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and we need to continue measuring and monitoring behaviors or others are the metrics that can tell us early on whether or not we’re actually on track, whether this, whether this thing actually works. Right. And so, yeah, just trying to, trying to find that a bit better. And, and I guess as you said, the, the, the, the magnitude of failure is just the same. Even with the old or the new system, you’re still producing at the same scale and the same people. Okay. Wonderful. It’s significantly harder to make a change once it goes in that face.

Jael

Yes. Once it reaches the hands of the retailers is really, really hard to make a change or people are resistant to making a change. In fact,

Elijah

Yeah, it will be great to, to, to, to name a few of these really big issues. Right. They might be obvious to everybody, but, but maybe not

Jael

That there are structural challenges, right. From a big corporate perspective. So for example, because our specialization, the people developing the product can be different from the people actually launching the product more so in a global, regional local setting where it’s a matrix organization, that people who came up with the consumer need or the consumer problem to be solved, develop the idea and actually producing the thing in the local market could be completely different people. So that sense of ownership, as it passes on from conception stage to actual prototype to actual thing that gets produced in a pilot plant to the thing that actually reaches the retailers and consumers, they could be different people and having differently. Yeah. So the idea of success is actually different. As we move across the whole process, then the black, the challenge in this case happens to be what happens after the product goes into the market, because oftentimes the development team is in then go, oh, great. Now you go deploy. You make a success out of it. I’m onto my next shiny new toy. This is what happens.

Elijah

Do you think there’s also an issue with, before we go on inside, is this, this is something that is personally dear to me, that the development team then, because they have proven two degree, nobody can see my air quotes, right. Because they have proven that people want it at a certain price point, at least proven

Jael

Product market fit

Elijah

Yeah. And so, and they also then lack often. That’s what I think that’s my bias. How do I ask the question differently? What about their responsibility post launch?

Jael

Yeah. Hardly ever have they ever, in the, in the corporate world, I was from very little ownership. I mean, they could be showing numbers such as, even, even the deployment could be showing numbers such as, oh, this is the impression I’ve reached. This is the click-through rates or, oh, this is the number of sales that I’ve made, but nobody could be willing to come in front of a decision board or investment board and said, look, I screwed up here.

Elijah

So the post-launch you mean? So the, so the development team never came in post launch. Yeah. Great.

Jael

So the person who launched it, it could be the, could be different from the person managing the portfolio six months later. So this six months later, it’s this guy coming to the investment board and saying, look, this is how the thing has done, but why this screwed up? I have no clue. I wasn’t the one who launched it.

Elijah

So they’re really two problems, right? Like, like, so one of, one of the things, and I remember people saying that literally, like, it doesn’t matter. It’s not our problem anymore. Like we had success, have some great prototype and we sold it and everybody was hyped and now people have to do something with it and whatever. Right. We’ve got our KPI is whatever fulfilled exactly. Then. So from a organism perspective, from a company perspective, it’s quite unhealthy. Right. And so, and the other problem is that a lot of the insights and, and softer things like empathy are also lost in that process. Right. And the way we, I mean, at least usually in systems that are not highly sophisticated, I suppose.

Jael

Absolutely. Although as much as we try to chop down the Cyrus, it happens, right. People have enough on their plate for their day job. Everything gets added on top of, especially in this COVID world, you know, everybody’s just doing a lot at the same time and actually not having that physical connection in the office if they are even co-located. Exactly. So there’s a lot of things that fall through the gap.

Elijah

You have some, do you have some insights in to how to make the handover a bit smoother, either from a systems or from an interpersonal perspective and with smooth now smoother, it’s not very specific, is it let’s say the knowledge transfer. Yeah. Yeah. Is there something that comes to mind reasoning, Hey, this is, this is a really, this pays off. Well, for example.

Jael

Yeah. You know, the first time I saw the business model canvas, I was really excited about it. You know, the first thing that came to my mind was, you know, looking at the, the, the canvas is like, okay, imagine if they won the development team and the people who are going to deploy it actually have a conversation around the canvas that would be so much more powerful. Why, because then we’ll be talking about who are the partners we need, what is the core of the solution that we’re offering? What are the needs we want to solve for? And the local team or the deployed team could already bring in their local nuances from day one and have a proper conversation or structured conversation around it, showing different data points we observed or actual data-based information. Yeah. So that could be one way to have that honest open conversation upfront.

Jael

And also during the process we have check-ins. So if you think about, let’s say a scrum or an agile approach where you have more connection points. So the people working on the project actually brings in, in a more structured manner and the end users, for example, for inputs and feedback, so that they can pivot wherever they are working on. So instead of, you know, let me go into my dark room, work on this for six months, 12 months, and then Tara, this is what I’ve come up with having that regular check-in or conversation points would actually help and also help brief the sense of ownership by the deploy team. And the final point is when the actual projects fiscally hands over. So my last job involve foods, for example. So this is a very local thing. So you have local sourcing, local factories producing it. So at the point where the development team passes over that knowledge transfer could be, you know, a physical document that transfers a proper conversation working session to already hash out, what are your concerns what’s going to make this thing break. What’s the highest risk what’s going to optimize this thing. What is the biggest opportunity? Having conversations from both sides to hash it out before the handshake and the Hanover could be very helpful.

Elijah

Can I, can I assume that at the end of the, of that career, at least, did you start using, or the teams that came up with the products? So not what we actually want to talk about, not the post launch teams, but before that, did they start using report cards for their experiments? We tried already.

Jael

We’ve, we’ve given the trainings we could given their own. I probably, you know, I don’t know, 3,005,000 marketeers. It’s really, really hard to enforce a tool, you know, a process, The adoption, I would say it’s very, very low.

Elijah

It’s very low indeed. Oh yeah. Interesting. Wow. Oh, interesting.

Jael

Because people see it as a, oh, another thing to do. Remember I come from a very established corporate with very structured things that either need to put together for the investor bought. So if it’s not requested, it’s not that

Elijah

Really. Wow. That is amazing. Yeah. It’s it’s because I think it’s one of the, I have high hopes for that. It seems to be, yeah, you’re not, you’re not the first one complaining about the issues around adoption, but yeah. I mean, at least in theory, and maybe to inspire were maybe where the culture allows or where it works for our listeners, I think, and maybe correct me. Right. It will be great. Maybe you disagree, which would be fantastic just as Bishop. Good is if we use report cards, if we use it in a structured way where we say, look, this is what we show them. This is our hypothesis. This is the method we use to, to, to get new data points into, to decrease, to lower the uncertainty. This is the type of information we got back. Maybe linking to some other resources, what we’ve done during that week or the month to, to, to gather together new insight. And, you know, cause it’s so digestible. Once it is standard, if an organization develops a certain standard where they say, right, so this is, this is what we did. This is what we learned. This is the outcome. Then, you know, you would assume the next team has a way of digesting information rather than, you know, my big frustrations with, Hey, we have to go through power point and other reports and, and nobody really understood what was going on. And you know, what do you think about that? Or,

Jael

Yeah, it gets done by the early adopters within the company. So you mentioned that 3000, 5,000 people, let’s say, you know, at the, of the adopters, let’s say 200 people actively do that. Okay. And that’s a high number. Okay. I’m being very optimistic. I say the 200 people are doing it and they are also only doing it for the biggest projects. I think the, the, the challenge that I didn’t talk about is that everybody is doing too much. So we are actually innovating from a scatter gun approach. So I hitting everything, hoping something lens without a structure, the way to understand which of this have early signs of success and which of these should we double down on? Yeah. And that’s actually linked to the core of today’s session. Really.

Elijah

That’s great. Yeah. I have this, I have this theory. I was just sharing with you like the idea where, you know, I understand it’s tedious, but accounting is tedious. Right. And we have, and we have bookkeepers and we have accountants and, you know, in a sense, you know, the, the, because of the term innovation, accounting, I’m coming to that because I think, you know, filling out like report cards, storing insights that we can cost, certainly. Cause we paid money for those insights. Like, you know, the team got a wage and maybe they had paid money for an experiment. So certainly from a costing perspective, this is something that can be, can be related, but also for the valuation side. So cause you know, we have more, usually more clarity around the project, right? So when we come back with new insights, we should be able to recalculate say the most likely outcome of this project.

Elijah

And so, you know, maybe it is fair to have somebody in the company or people in the company who really specialized on saying, you know, Hey, this is how you fill this out, you know, have you done it? You know, you wear your receipts, right. Have you done it? Where’s your bookkeeper? Where should I book this? Right. I add, you know, to, to make a bit of an analogy. Right. And so you don’t have to do it pretend maybe that’s the solution. I dunno. I wonder what you think the solution could be like, I think we need to jam this. Maybe not in this podcast, but yeah.

Jael

Yeah. So, so getting people to do it, it could be, but it’s also about the 10 people, the, the people who are actually working on the projects to show up and be willing to learn and adopt a new way. So it’s, it’s a bit like herding cattle, unfortunately, because we are operating in the industrial age, even though, you know, we have moved on as a human race, we’re still bound by systems and processes. So wherever you’re describing sounds really, really exciting. And I’m already thinking, okay, if I were to set up a company from ground zero, there’s absolutely the gut rules are already set in place and let that leather up for bigger learnings because you know, I can see so much potential and I saw is that person was started from market research. I’m obsessed about data points and insights and how that ties together to the broader story. I go, I see that the power of that.

Jael

And the funny thing is in the tail end of my corporate career, where you were trying to launch this thing called the hundred day tracker in the company, which is really about post-launch what happens. And we want to get some early indicators, is this working? Is this not? And because it is such a new muscle that we have to build, despite the best efforts in lending could Jolene coercing, whatever, you know, we’ve, we’ve tried, it’s not working. It was not working when I left three months ago. So it’s extremely hard the way to do it. Yeah. Tara and stick or scratch everything. Start from ground zero, you know, or something.

Elijah

Oh, interesting. Let me try to take a breath and think, so we spoke about a few issues before launch and then the hand over a few issues there. And then we can only imagine that post-launch and post-launch pivot get even harder and we have a few insights of why they hot to begin with because we don’t have all the appropriate to begin with potentially. Right. I think that’s one of the things I heard or correct me. Yeah.

Jael

Yeah. From a brick and mortar concepts, a brick and mortar business. It’s very hard to get the timely or nuanced data points, like what you would get from a direct consumer platform, for example.

Elijah

Great. Exactly. Sort of type of business they were talking about makes it harder. Cause it’s not, not a SAS product for example, or right. Tastic and good. So, but at this sounds interesting when we start with the experiment you ran there the hundred day tracking.

Jael

Yeah. So what happens to the thing a hundred days later? So what we’d normally get, you know, as running a business, you typically get things like sales numbers pretty quickly, you get your, you know, your financing can calculate the gross margin pretty quickly estimates, how long does it take to pay back your initial investment? So good. Those kind of financial metrics pretty quickly. What you can also get from a corporate perspective is, you know, your agencies, your, your, you know, your media agencies are going to give you impression, numbers, reach numbers, those kind of things. What happens very often, at least, you know, 10 years ago when I was working in a local market, people are going to show a lot of beautiful numbers with upward trends and beautiful lane Chaz, as your, how amazing that launch went. Right? Why? Because, I mean, that’s human nature.

Jael

You don’t want to go to your boss and tell them what a shitty project that was. Yeah. That’s human nature. So what we need in order, and I was talking about the whole scattergun approach of innovation we’re taking. So let’s say we’re launching, let’s say in a particular market, you know, in, in a normal situation, we probably have enough budget to launch three or five things. Well, but because we were not certain why actually absolutely. You have product market fit. We put in more like insurance, we do more. Right. And hence, instead of doing three projects, that person, each person is handling nine or 12 projects. That’s another problem that we can talk about in another episode. But for this, what happens is we are putting into the market, let’s say 20 different innovation projects or products that we are supporting half-heartedly if, if even any,

Elijah

Oh, okay. Let me, let me ask. Sorry. So, so the very, so your approach to de-risking or to increasing the likelihood of success rather is to place more bets. And then the problem with that is that you placed actually more bats than you were really able to monitor and support. Does that, is that correct? Great. Okay.

Jael

Correct. So, you know, it’s almost like throwing a baby out and hoping that he survives we’d pray and hope and your whole hands, every watch. And if you watch, as I said, the only problem is people are not watching. People are looking for whatever signs that show that it’s a success when that happens. What the terrible thing that happens is that the resources continue to be diluted. Proliferate. What happens is the real thing that actually has a huge amounts of product market fit. Doesn’t get the resources, it needs to scale. So we are not maximizing the returns from the innovations that actually have a success. I’ve had a chance of success because we are spreading our energy across the 19 others. They’re just sapping and not

Elijah

Returning and you’re not killing them.

Jael

We’ve already done it. Let’s just let it roll and see what happens. Or another common thing is, oh, the retailers, we have killed it anyway. So they just let it be. But what happens is then your supply chain continues to be very complex. So rather than reducing the number of products that they need to make, they continue to make a lot. And when they don’t sell, after one year, two year, three years, you know, three years expiry dates for a lot of products that has long foods, the shorter, painful food and refreshment kind of products, then you’ll get things like, okay, they are near expiry. We have to absorb them back. And that’s where the write-offs happen. And that’s when employees get a lot of free gifts on their office tables.

Elijah

Okay. So, and by then also responsibility is probably diluted. Maybe the person that was responsible for the launch moved on, is that like, I mean, one of the biggest six secrets in corporate innovation is launched something and then leave, right? Like that’s the way

Jael

To survive

Elijah

Different company. Tell a big story. Yeah and I’m not saying it to be, to be nasty. I think the system is built in a way that it rewards that correct date. It doesn’t reward. Hey, you told me really early on, which is what we’re trying to talk about. And we’re getting really nicely stuck and the problem in the, in the, in describing the problem, which I lost, but it, but this does not reward telling the companies. Yeah, exactly. But I guess, yeah. So those companies who will adopt that rather early or sooner should, should really increase the odds of success. And so how do we do that? I guess maybe we should start talking a bit about it and you’ve done it. Certainly you’ve certainly done those trials. Right. You’ve done those experiments around, how do we do that? How can one of a very large, as you described a very large organization started adopting that, start experimenting with it and getting better. Right. Starting to get that up. And so not to make that much of a hard break, but yeah. Great. Yeah. Thank you.

Jael

Step one would be really about agreeing what the metrics we want to measure. Because as I said, people want to show up in meetings, telling stakeholders, their bosses, their bosses, bosses, how amazing that project wins. So we have to, first of all, kill vanity metrics. So metrics or line charts that make them look grades, we have to really get to the roots of, okay, so what do we need to measure in order to know what is it that we need to change to allow even more growth to come into the project to do that? We actually leverage the pirates funnel, you know, borrowing from the lean thinking and the growth hacking, okay, what is the framework we want to use? And we let that on the pirate metrics as simply because the art is really exciting. And at that point in time, yeah. I think we have to explain a little bit what the parrot funnel is. Do you want to start us?

Elijah

Yeah. Let’s that’s outlined at the bit, so yeah. The pirate metrics with startups, it was first, it was coined by Dave McClure. It describes basically for that five key metrics, they would be acquisition activation, retention, revenue, and referral. So, because many of you may have heard that, but because the first letter is a, an a and then rrr. So it’s what we think a pirate sounds like. And maybe I should make them both. Thank you. Thank you. That’s a team spirit. So they basically answer certain fundamental questions. We can with those four, with those five metrics, we can certainly explain all three leavers of growth or figure out if the three leavers of growth that we usually have available. We don’t want to get too technical work. So acquisition. So how many people for how much can I acquire people even coming? Can, can I get them in the funnel and basically for how much that’s quite quite important.

Elijah

And then we see how much they pay. So with activation or they’re coming in, we answering under that metric. You can sub those metrics a bit more. I think I rushed through them a little bit, maybe not too much. And do that. Do they like the product? When do they like the product? How long do they today do the hang around before they buy? So there are certain questions we can answer on the, on the category. And then the next thing, usually it’s retention. How long do they stick to their body again? And for how long, which is very important. Again, that’s one of the leavers of growth. So the sister, what Eric Reese called the sticky engine of growth, where acquisition is the paid engine of growth. So we have to pay for people to come in with retention. They stick around, we don’t have to pay anything else.

Elijah

They become the customer acquisition cost over customer, customer, lifetime value. It goes down and down and down the longer they stick, which is really beautiful if that happened. And then, oh, well then revenue, okay. That’s maybe how much we can charge in that one. How much do we actually get out? And then with referral, we have how many sorts of referral coefficient, maybe familiar to some people or the viral, the viral coefficient rather. So how many of our existing customers through referring new customers? And sometimes they’re not even customers yet not to get too technical and they start already referring, but that’s the other lever of growth. Really? The third one, the third important one that tells us that gets us customers in more or less for free. Sometimes we incentivize customers to give us new customers and then we have to pay, but those are basically the three ways we can grow. And so this is really what we want to monitor,

Jael

And that’s really the original metrics of the parrot funnel. And later on, after a couple of years, I think the growth tribe came up with another, a, in this awareness and they kind of stuck it at the start of this, our metrics. And I just want to talk about it because from a, our corporate perspective, awareness has been the traditional measure. So I started with how brand teams would go back and show, you know, this is the number of impressions we’ve made. This is the people we’ve reached with our GRPs. So that traditionally has determined how much money we spend on media, because media is a huge cost in the entire traditional sales channel. Yeah. And hence in the particular system I created just before I left awareness is actually one of the metrics as well. So borrowing from the growth tribe founders.

Yeah. And this is, yeah, this is great. So we had to be transparent here. We had a little pre-chat about this and I usually try not to use it. I think sometimes it’s, it’s used it’s misused and it’s again, it’s brings in a potential for, for advantage. But I think what’s important to, to mention here is that when, when we use those metrics and when we talk about vanity metrics versus actionable metrics and so on, I, I, I guess every metric can be used as a vanity metric. The trick is really to see, to think, to think off the conversion steps in this funnel. So if, if, if wearness actually leads to, to acquisition and we measured that appropriately and we can say, right, so we, we, we create more awareness here and it will lead to something else that we can measure in a certain way. Then that’s probably fine. I, I, that’s how I think about it. Is that a good?

Jael

Yeah. And you remember how I started the story? So we are, you know, we can only support, let’s say three projects, but we put 20 out there. So the bottleneck in many of the cases could be the simply the awareness, even if you’ve designed the best products with an amazing product market fit. But if people don’t know about it and they come into a store with many products and brands in front of them, they don’t know the pick out your brand. Not because your product is crap, but simply because they’re not aware that sometimes is the critical bottleneck unlock, particularly if your other R values are super high. So for example, if you’re getting a great referral, you’re getting a great retention. Once people try it, people love it. And then we know that there’s a jam in there. Think the metric you want to double down on that could be awareness.

Elijah

Okay. Cool. Fantastic. Great. Yeah. So I guess the, what the, when, when we think of it as a funnel, it’s a bit more complicated because the funnel has actually loops in the funnel. So when you think you know that, but for the, for the listener, who’s not quite aware will be so nice to draw this right now. Wouldn’t it? Yeah. Maybe still drawing below. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, yes, we do that. Perfect. We’ve got one anyway. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. We, we put, we put a, we put a graphic designer really nice. So we have, so when you think about acquisition that when somebody refers, it’s actually loop back into acquisition, the loops can be placed differently depending on your business model. But what I was trying to say here, jail was actually something else who is, which yeah. Something about a funnel rescue me. I dunno.

Elijah

Let’s move on from that. So let’s go, okay. So let’s go back to the a hundred day to your program. And so you said, okay, so you’re in a large corporate setting things. I usually kind of left alone traditionally a little bit and you know, things will sort themselves out and hope I won’t get punished. Okay. But now you will, you want to look at within a hundred days, which is in your context early, you want to, you want to monitor things and after is it corrected after these hundred days you wanna make a decision? Is that I mean, so the system was set up and you had the leverage to make the decision as well, at least in theories

Jael

Based decisions, rather than I feel you feel

Elijah

W what kind of decisions you wanted to make. So we actually kill and pivot and secure pivot persevere, but all these three were possible. Is that correct? So you, the,

Jael

Yes. So kill is something that a lot of people fairly uncomfortable with. Right? In fact, in my webinars, when I talk about the freeway, I talk about kill all the time, and then there will be comments. I say, oh, I love this kill lady, because

Elijah

You gotta be careful. It might be, that might be the title of the podcast.

Jael

I would love for us. I haven’t killed metric or, or, you know, things like celebrating failures, celebrating the projects we’ve killed and what we’ve learned. I would love to celebrate a culture like that. It is still a distance away, but in essence, the first thing we want to understand is is there any glaring thing we can pivot or we meet to pivot to change? So what any of those metrics that we talked about? Is there a bottleneck somewhere that’s causing a block in the conversion? Is there something that we need to know? So let’s say we remember,

Elijah

Can we take a forgive? Me, Jay, can we take a product? Can we take something? I would like something like, not a real one, but like an example, maybe that might help us guiding us through the next, through the next part. Should we say in food or maybe electronics? I think hardware would be good. Right? Cause we stay there. Maybe, maybe something you didn’t actually do. Maybe, maybe I charge X product or I dunno, I’m just picking something random cat food. I don’t know. Where should we

Jael

Pet food is a bit okay. Let’s, let’s do dog food because I have a, three-year-old very passionate about docs. Okay. Let’s talk about that. Right. So imagine you’re launched, got foot products, put it into the market. Right. And what happened after the a hundred days is we’ve learned some things that people are seeing online that have telling each other. Maybe we’ve done a little survey amongst the people who bought the product and understood. Okay. What did they like? Did they not like, so it’s really in the, you know, activation metric. Right. So when people would use it, did they enjoy it? Did that doc appear to enjoy, did they rush to us the bowl or do they live foot behind? And then I’m going to go quite graphic. You know, how was the poop like, is it matching the owner’s expectation of how a healthy portion look like? Because it’s very much linked to the food. And based on this experience, people are talking about it and we want to be able to hear about it, learn it in order to decide, okay, is there anything wrong with the product that this would be a fundamentally changed?

Elijah

Great. Great. So basically what you, let me try to rephrase and see where, where I got it and where it didn’t. So one of the key metrics for you in the, in the, in the activity around activation, and under there, you had a sub segment of questions. So for dog food, it was so the happiness, the satisfaction level of your customers is really what you were looking at. And so the, when you, when it came to the metric, what was, did you have a quantifiable fail criteria for that? Like, were you able to, did you have qualitative and quantitative expectations you were setting before those hundred days clearly, or, or not?

Jael

Great question. So numbers on his own and not meaningful because they lack context and they lack framing. So what we do is often we try to identify, okay, what is the question? What was the measure we really want to understand? And what would be a good number for it? A good number could be benchmarked to something that was a previous launch or previous product that we have. So we know kind of what percentage is good or what good looks like. And then we measure it. We see how far it falls short or let’s above what we think is an acceptable number. Well, we like to do is also the benchmark it against competitors, because we don’t want to do Naval gazing. So if you only look at your past launches,

Elijah

You know? Yeah. Which is great. So you basically had the ability to benchmark, right? Very often, somewhat to people listening and then different kind of words, more maybe about transformational innovation. You, you have not, you don’t even have to ability to benchmark. It comes a bit, comes a bit more complicated, but so you had that ability. So how did you measure, let’s say for dog food, how, how would we have measured the satisfaction level of the dog and the customer?

Jael

This is exciting because I’ve actually never worked on dog food before. So, so you could measure things like how fast does the dog rushes to the ball? How fast does it take to finish the food? Right. And maybe even the usage experience of the food, right? The opening of the packaging, if it’s a sachet, how easy it opens, if it’s a can, is it easy? And that’s the human being, answering the survey. So it could be through surveys. It could be through

Elijah

So contextual inquiry. So you guys did contextual inquiries. Okay, great.

Jael

We can also do digital ethnography. So, you know, putting a camera, either them feeling, filming it themselves and not with camera phones, so busy getting people to actually share the experience and talk about it life. Right. So the problem with surveys is that it happens after the point in time. And then a lot of things have happened between the actual experience and the moment in which they respond. So that’s the limitation of surveys in the classic sense, we try to navigate around that through the more digital methods these days.

Elijah

Yeah. And, and post-launch, you, you’re not using those indicators anymore. You’re saying, or

Jael

We could, but it’s usually because imagine if we are launching 20 things into the market, that actual number of people who buy it will be quite small because people don’t know that this new thing exists and they’ll find these people who actually bought it. It’s also difficult, what we do more. So instead of, you know, what we call a, finding the needle in a haystack where we try to fish for people who have actually used it and do a survey with them. We also rely on ratings and reviews, for example. So for example, if there’s ever, you know, online store selling it, people often leave a review. If it’s a category that people are more passionate about in this case, pet food, people are fairly passionate about their pets, right? So they’re actively sharing information with one another in groups and forums on reviews and say, oh, my dog absolutely loved that back for more, you know, that kind of, that kind of information is great data. So even though

Elijah

No, this is I’m sorry, this is very activated. This is fantastic. So, so would you say to, so do you, how do you quantify that before the launch, do you say we, we, we need at least X positive reviews and this is positive versus negative, or like, we want to have a positive versus negative review on Amazon. It’s the wrong one, but it could be, how, how would you have done? Like how would that be done more

Jael

Before launching? We typically would benchmark against something that we have or something that’s out there in the market. Right. So if it’s at least on par, then you’re not, you have a parody product, but we’re of course aiming for superiority, right. You’re aiming for a differentiator superior product to put into the market because of all the money that’s invested to put a product into the hands of the customer, you definitely would love a strong retention and referral because there’s going to bring exponential growth through your business case rather than driving awareness all the time. Yeah. So there’s something that we look at brief or launch, however, because you know, if people are working on 20 projects and they don’t have money to support the project after launching, you can imagine how little money is there to fully validate or learn about things before they go into the market.

Elijah

Great. Okay. Yeah. Granted, but let’s say maybe in a, in an ideal world, right? Like let’s, let’s be, if, if you don’t mind, let’s draw this like ideal scenario, right. How will we, how will we do this ideally? Right. So what would be, do you want to make a decision on to kill? So how would you ideally then make a, make a kill decision? You would also look at financials right. At how, how much did they actually sell you would benchmark that as well.

Jael

Yeah, absolutely. You know, there’s the three bubbles, right? Consumer desirability, technical feasibility, as well as the commercial viability, you would look at these three circles before you make a decision, whether this is a positive case or not, because you don’t want to create something price so expensive that nobody wants to buy it. And as a whole commercial viability falls apart. So those are the things that innovators should already take into consideration from day one. What happens in a corporate world is often the people developing it is full of your token vision. This is how it should be, is going to be the most amazing 10 of dot foot. You know, you’re going to open it, you push a button, then it Springs open. Nothing is going to stick the set of the can pop it out, you know? And the whole thing integrates into delicious looking chunks. You don’t need a spoon so that you have one less thing to wash perfect product. Right? I just think that my own vision of my stops

Elijah

That’s true.

Jael

And your R and D folks, your R and D folks would say, yeah, I can make that happen, but that costs 20 bucks or 10. And your competitors, by the way, are selling at $2, a 10, you can make that happen. Who’s going to buy it at that price. So if I have, as a corporate innovator is we often test things and body parts. So we test the idea, we test the packaging, we test the functionality, test the features. And at the end or towards the end, we slip the price tag on. And that’s when you know, your conversion falls apart because yes, you’re developing something so amazing. Everybody could love it. Its differentiator from the market is definitely superior when it comes at 10 types of cost. Oops, sorry. We can sell a Tesla to a, you know, classic Toyota if I want to use a car analogy.

Elijah

Yeah. Yeah. Great. Do you see certain indicators, either financial indicators not working out or, and you may have a hunch why maybe people are not as satisfied as you as the anticipated and you have, let’s say you figured out more or less why, right? Or your channel doesn’t work, but you know, another channel works or maybe non channel, none of the channels work and you need to make it well, you should ideally make a change. Maybe run us through how that, how that works and what doesn’t work and what should ideally work maybe. And that’s yeah.

Jael

Yeah. So an early indicator, it could be a non-consumer. So we’re very called the retailers. They call them customers. So a retailer might come back to us and say, okay, this particular flavor is not working. People are saying it’s too spicy. Okay. Is a disaster. You have the big set. I’ll pick it off the shelf. So in the classic industrial sense, we will say, okay, it’s impossible to reformulate the button. This poach, the factory is locked. Just start with them on tons of this thing, that’ll be a classic disaster. However, the, the actual project team, not my team, some amazing people in another part of the company, this is get together, use qualitative product recycling to learn what is the optimal level of spiciness life. So what happened is they put a group of consumers into a room. They cooked up the food, they suffered different versions of the food.

Jael

People ate, gave feedback. And behind the one way mirror, there’s a group of chefs. Oh, you know, vision chefs are working, tweaking the formulation to optimize the level of spiciness based on the feedback dressing. Yeah. Once they, so as the people are tasting the first round, they’re talking about the real time behind the mirror that people working on it. And you know, people take a break, have a cracker, have a glass of water reset. The pallet round two comes. And that’s when they very quickly came to an optimal new formulation. This is something that the recipe of the factory pushed a new product into the actual showers, retailer, happy consumers, happy life happily ever after. That’s the name of the book, by the way I launched,

Elijah

We didn’t mention it.

Jael

So the whole story is really about how you can use a metric that this metric is a feedback from a retailer threatening to delist us. If we don’t, we get project team got back, you know, the product we slightly using a one way mirror, real life consumers tweak the product update at the formulation and the factory improve the recipe, continue selling. Well, everybody is happy. So this is one way in which we can actually activate this framework. Did you not have a

Elijah

Lot of backlash? Did they not have a lot of backlash when that happened from, from supply chain? Or how did they manage to get over? Like how did they manage to get everybody on board? Well, how would you in an ideal world or the way the system is not there, maybe not so specific, maybe more, you know, maybe food

Jael

Having that clearly defined and aligned go. So something in it for everyone, right? Everybody has the big, you know, growth in sales KPI in that goal setting with their line managers at the start of the year. So they know they want to drive growth. How will that growth happen? The growth will not happen if we have the rights of 10 tons off that product. So it’s to nobody’s interest. If we just sit and do nothing, right? So having a clear direction of, okay, we are not hitting the target. There is a way to close this gap. It might be some radical thing, like stopping the machines and tweaking it before we start the machine again, are you in or out? And having that clarity and really holding hands and going it together is quite critical in a matrix organization

Elijah

And the reward structure. Ideally wait, so that, cause it’s a, it’s a portfolio. Well, you’re not petting what you’re describing, where we’re not, we’re not talking about, you know, one person it’s not, it’s not an approach. Right, exactly. Right. It’s like, it’s really like an, everybody should be rewarded because you know, critically just like, there’s like me in my team that, you know, that didn’t manage just, just as much as you are. So having a better word structure and really a system is really the answer to that.

Jael

Yeah. And open community. And I would say no. So what are the barriers to making? I mean, we are very comfortable with telling each other why this will not work. I think it’s about flipping the question to, okay, what will we take to make it work? What’s the stakes. Then we make an informed decision. Okay. Do we want to do it or not? Rather than just hiding behind the barriers.

Elijah

Yeah. Great. Now I’m totally with you like psychologic safety and radical Cantor. And I’m like the biggest son. Yeah. Yeah. It’s very hard. It’s very hard to innovate when you can’t relate when you can’t disagree and you can’t be open when you always have to be on eggshells. Yeah. Totally true. That’s measurable by the way.

Jael

Absolutely. And they get a KPI, you know, so if it’s not measured, it’s not treasured. And then nobody even work on it.

Elijah

Yeah. Cool.

Jael

Okay. Things that I would also like to underscore is metrics and metrics. What really differentiated this is, we also wanted to understand the, who, who is the consumer persona buying this and why they’re buying this. Right. So you would assume that in a large corporate, we had tons of money. We would have done the whole consumer persona value proposition canvas before we proceeded. But sometimes we launched things without actually properly thinking it through his hand. It’s a gut-feel we do it. The risk is low. Let’s just put it into the market and see what happens. Sometimes what happens is the people we were intending to target are not the people buying it. So sometimes what happens is the product might be over or under engineered for the actual early adopters of the product. And if we have a system in place to understand who is buying it and why are they buying it?

Elijah

We could actually pivoted thing if we need to optimize the rest of the funnel. Right? So imagine if you were over-engineering and we’ve done that in one product, you know, UST, so we’ve done an organic stuff, right. With the best ingredients. And so on, we were targeting the really high brow and consumers. What happened is that is the average person on the street buying this product. Then they were finding it, oh, it’s a bit too expensive, you know, for this product. And of course it’s expensive and putting the best things into it. And we actually had the hit on the gross budget. So it’s a loss loss, you know, it’s a lose, lose situation. So imagine if we’ve learned about this in PE, we could actually pivot it. So one re re target, right? So we decided, okay, instead of the slow segments that we are targeting to target this segment, along with this, we might make the plan to think about our sourcing strategy, the raw ingredients.

Jael

They need to come down to the level that we can charge a price that they feel value for money and still deliver the benefits they’re looking for. Or we pivot the pocketing strategy, such that it better is the origin of people we want. But that probably means we have to do summer consumer interviews and get out of the building to understand, okay, what is it that this people truly wants is this product we have already in the market meeting. That means if not, what needs to change and hence, you know, almost going back to the drawing board for the project. So it’s one of the ways, unfortunately, that project team did the third way, which is to kill the project, which is also fine because it’s a strategy call.

Elijah

That’s interesting. Yeah. I’m slate. I’m slightly, I guess some of the things, you know, even pulling the, pulling the product out and redefining the spiciness level, it sounds like that’s not, it shouldn’t be a scale issue. It should be a Prescale issue, I suppose, in an, in an ideal world. Right. So the system

Jael

I’ve known it before you put 10 pounds buttons.

Elijah

All right. So this is, and this is like, I guess today I’m, I’m challenged in asking questions at times because I feel like, you know, we were going between, because I’m not quite sure because in one, in one hand, I’ve got this ideal system in my head that doesn’t exist. And so right. And, and, and so th the metric we would apply it at post post-launch seems very often seems like it’s a post-launch scales. It’s like, it’s like one that we should have kind of maybe figured out before, you know? Yeah. We’re trying to help assist building appropriate system.

Jael

The opportunity. Exactly. That gives a lot of opportunity for people like us, right. Through find what other, you know, you know, fix this. We need to bring,

Elijah

Yeah. There’s still a lot to do.

Jael

And it’s really not because of lack of intense, the good intentions that there is really about focus and priorities and fear, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of fear based innovation. I like, okay, competitor has it. Let’s go do something like it. Then you end up with a lot of meetings.

Elijah

And even the wedding model, like innovation labs or something where the way that, you know, oh, this is our direct competitor that does this. Let’s do it exactly the same way. Let’s not try to improve

Jael

The incubator system because our competitor has it.

Elijah

Well. And, and I think the reason is very much like, well, nobody can hold me responsible if it goes wrong. Right. If this insurer does it, we do it exactly at the other insurer. If the other insurer does it, we do it exactly that like perfect. Cause like for my personal career, that seems like a de-risk I, if it doesn’t work at least like, tell me if I’m wrong. Right, right. Like, what do you mean I’ve done it like this big, like the biggest insurer in volume.

Jael

And if I were to apply a coaching lens on this situation, I would really ask that your listeners, what is the role they’re playing? How are they co-creating this system that they allow to remain broken? And what is the one thing that they need to do differently tomorrow to start the shift in the right direction? So we can’t change the entire system at one go, but if we together ask the right questions, stick to the same behavior, stick to the same principles of a growth mindset of learning through experiments, driving change positively a little bit, each day, better than the day before, you know, it would be better than doing the same thing and complain about this in five years, time,

Elijah

As much as it won’t apply to everybody. What is your biggest giveaway, a secret for someone to, to get started in terms of corporate innovation? What do you think is your biggest? What would you say is not your biggest, but yeah, something you could really recommend,

Jael

I would recommend get clear of what you are here for. What is the value you want to bring to the space, to the, either the innovation project or the innovation system. So be clear on your own, why which will then guide you and keep you in that direction. Even when shit hits the fan, because shit will hit the fan. We are going through against this giant system that has been built for 20 years. It has kept the companies, the company that you’re hired in going strong. So just because you have a radical change of point of view is not going to change things overnight, but you, if you have a strong clarity of where you think your system can go, what’s the optimal way of operating. What’s the ideal way of innovating. We clear about that and then think about, okay, so what’s the one pinchable thing I can start doing tomorrow in this week, in this month, we often underestimate what we can achieve in a year and we overestimate what we can do in a day. That’s the mother of stress.

Elijah

Nice, nice.

Jael

Yeah. So having that intention, and that’s how we started in our coffee break, Leah, the intention of doing what we want to do, and then that’s going to keep us on course.

Elijah

I think this is a lovely way to end the episode and to think, yeah, it’s on a, on a high end, the corporate innovation high note.

Jael

Yeah. It comes, boils down to the individual because the system isn’t going to change itself and, and we can pay McKinseys and staff to come and help us. But at the end of the day, it’s the people in the system what’s going to be the change and it starts, we’ve asked every conversation. We make

Elijah

Great. Make a change. Everybody.

Jael

I’ve got this, you’ve got this.

Elijah

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for your time.

Jael

Thanks. Eliya for having me.

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