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I’m thinking of building an Innovation Lab, I’d like your thoughts.

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
As many of us here at DR know we're in an innovation desert lately. One cause is “Vendors who are skilled at consolidation, are not at innovation”. I addition to this consolidation phase we're in, I've noticed many startups in various stages, trying to come to market, but stalled on the runway.

@Matt Lasher and I were deep in a 4 hr strategy meeting and it sparked a thought of building an Innovation Lab for our automotive retail space. I’d like your thoughts.

Mission Statement: "Identify Problems to Fix, Don't Build Products to Find a Problem"

I see the Lab concept as an independent org, free from constraints that slow innovation. I see the Lab creating & growing its own ideas internally. I also see the lab as an incubator, investing in startups & assisting them in whatever they are lacking.

This week, I’m working on the business model. I see a collection of investors, preferably car dealers, investing and assisting via rapid feedback or instore testing. The network of dealer/investors plus a host of startup services should provide hyper-acceleration to cash flow positive status that can't be found anywhere else. Think a quasi Y Combinator for autos.

One of the great challenges for the lab is to create an environment that attracts talent. We know “selling cars is a team sport“, so is innovation. Not only will the Lab want to recruit talent, it’ll need to inventory the talent that our investors bring.

ANYONE with a high interest in this concept, feel free to message me directly.
More as it comes.
 

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
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How To Design Products that Solve Real Customer Problems
https://hackernoon.com/how-to-design-products-that-solve-real-customer-problems-509ff5d8fb21

  • 5 min read — As a Product Manager, you should be managing a problem, not only its solution. This is because understanding a solution can only be as good as your understanding of the problem you’re addressing. And yet, most teams fly through the problem definition part [via Intercom]
  • 3 min read — A customer problem statement is a short description of the issues that need to be addressed by a problem solving team and should be created before trying to solve the problem [via Ivan Schneiders]
  • 12 min read — When you’re trying to build a product you can’t have it all. This is why people build Minimum Viable Products (MVP). MVP’s maximize validated learning but do so at the expense of lower quality. Minimum Loveable Products on the other hand, maximize love from early tribe members with the least effort [via Laurence McCahill]
  • 5 min read — Designing products for impact inevitably entails dealing with risk. When taking a high risk product bet, focus the team’s attention on learning, rather than success or failure [via Ameet Ranadive]

  • 10 min read — Customer choice has never been greater, so terrific design is essential for outstanding products and services — and to build lasting customer relationships [via McKinsey Insights]
  • 15 min read — Concept Sprints are a set of activities that turn an idea into something that has a greater chance of seeing the light of day and succeeding in the marketplace [via McKinsey Insights]
  • 25 min listen — How do morals and meaning fit into entrepreneurship? Focusing only on the technical problems sometimes misses the humanity at the centre of why we’re building a new product in the first place [via a16z Podcast]
  • 10 min read — Nearly all great ideas follow a similar creative process. Although not easy, being creative is something that can be learnt. Following a process can help demystify the creative process and lead to the path of more innovative thinking [via James Clear]
 
Reactions: Chris Cachor

Glen Dakan

Noob
Jun 15, 2018
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Glen
I would definitely be interested in this from a former car dealer current automotive tech startup CEO. How could we get involved?
 
Reactions: joe.pistell

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Hi Glen, thnx for reaching out, lots of interest in this concept and I've got a lot of work ahead to bring it to life.

Right now, I'm building the biz plan and recruiting a network of founders for the lab, all with different skill sets (i.e. CEO, CTO, CFO, COO, CMO, etc) each player to lead their area of influence.

Anyone who wants to participate* should DM me or send me an email at joepistell @ gmail [dot ] com


*Players in this innovation lab are: Progressive Dealers, vendors, startups or someone with a good idea that being used inside a dealership
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
DO YOU DIY?
Many times, smart ppl inside dealerships run into a repetitive problem and build a solution or a workaround for it.

If you (or someone you know) built a tool that you that are using to make your life easier, it maybe a product that can be built and sold to other dealers. If that's you, DM me or email me at joepistell at gmail dot com
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,994
1,516
113
First Name
Joe

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,994
1,516
113
First Name
Joe
So far, I've discovered 3 interesting products that were built by car guys that are way off the radar. I've personally demoed them and found them to be quite unique and helpful.

  • Streamline. A workflow tool for Special Finance.
A tool built by the leader of the special finance dept of WestHerr Group to automate the arduous tasks needed to connect the credit challenged buyer, the banks and which cars the banks will want to fund. I've seen nothing like it, it's quite interesting! Streamline is being spearheaded by @Matt Lasher of West Herr. Ping Matt or myself for a demo and your feedback.

p.s. I have no financial arrangements with these players... yet ;-)​