Brian Millar has a brief article in FastCompany about his company’s strategy of consulting “extreme customers” to get insight into existing products and ideas for new ones. He writes, “You can learn a lot about mobile phones by talking to a power user. You can learn even more by talking to somebody who’s deliberately never bought one.” And
We recently worked with some Brazilian transsexuals on hair-removal products, looking at ways of making the process less painful. I can assure you, we had their full attention. Some are still sending us ideas.
It’s a great illustration of the fact that innovation tends to come from the intersection of orthogonal streets.