How to Figure Out the Customer: Brad Smith

First, we break the company—which has 8,000 employees—into four- to six-person teams. We call them “two pizza” teams, because you don’t need more than two pizzas to feed them. They observe the customers. They watch someone in a coffee shop, they watch someone in a florist shop, they follow farmers home, and they look for big problems that are getting in their way. Then they come back to the office and come up with at least seven different ways to solve that problem. No idea gets scratched off until they run an experiment to see whether the customer likes it. And the ones that work the best are the ones we build products behind. We get a lot of neat ideas this way.

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