Owning the Customer Experience
How can we understand the whole of the hundreds, sometime thousands of individual pieces of IP that can go into a single product solution? Even if we can identify and collect all of it, can we really get a feel for the whole through a stack of patent, trademark, and other IP documents? The answer is an emphatic no for just about anyone. We can’t for the same fundamental reason that even genius chess players – you know, the ones who can play and win several games at the same time without even looking at the board – fail to remember the positions of pieces even on one board that they stare at for a while if those pieces are put on the board randomly. That’s too much information for the human brain out of context. The genius players can remember and play multiple games because they understand the patterns of the games and therefore where the pieces should be in relation to each other.
The way you get your head around all the IP that is critical for a product solution initiative is to understand the pattern of IP as it relates to the customer experience and move off of trying to understand a huge collection of material on some spreadsheet out of context and therefore beyond strategic comprehension. What is the experience you would like the end user to have with your product solution? What are the differentiators at the point of sale rationally and emotionally? Do you own them? If you don’t, what are the limits of your rights to them? Think about it in this way and you should be able to get your head around what is really important – you start to see the pattern, and you can see the pattern for many product solutions as they play out at the same time.
Image credit: Dhoomakethu!!