Innovate Better By Listening To Your Customers

We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Sonali Shetty, Entrepreneur & Founder of Kova Digital and Elliot Susel, Faculty Member at Lean Startup Co., focused on innovation and why it’s so important to speak to your customers early and often.

In Elliot and Sonali’s conversation, they discuss:
– The three major types of innovation.
– The importance of making it someone’s job in your company to work on innovation.
– Why it’s important to speak to your customers early and often to learn about what they want and need.

And much, much more…

About ten years ago, Sonali Shetty recognized an approaching shift in the way companies could interact with their customers. Apple had just opened the app store, social media was on the rise, and Facebook had opened up their API to third party app developers. All of a sudden, companies could now directly communicate with their customers and client base. It was a new frontier.

“I wanted to…educate [startups and corporations] on what this change meant for them and how they needed to prepare for it,” Shetty says. So Kova Digital was launched. At the time, they were a third-party app developer on Facebook. But the digital world took off quickly, and very soon the landscape evolved. Products weren’t just limited to apps, but mobile, web, and IoT came along, as well as algorithms and machine learning. But all this didn’t change Shetty’s focus, it just expanded the ways in which Kova Digital could help their customer base.

Shetty likes using the Deng Xioping analogy of crossing a river by feeling the stones. Your goal of crossing the river remains your focus, but you’re feeling your way as you go, stepping on the stones that provide the most solid footing and make the most sense. “We always wanted to be a product innovation company, but we pivoted and modified in the best Lean Startup tradition in terms of what that means,” she says.

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