The World's Most Innovative Companies

BusinessWeek discusses the World's Most Innovative Companies:

A close watch of customer insights can also bring innovation to even the most iconic and established products. Back in 2003, 3M began noticing and monitoring two consumer trends. One was troubling: Customers were using laptops, cell phones, and BlackBerrys to send quick memos or jot down bits of information. Every thumb-tapped message or stylus-penned note on a personal digital assistant meant one less Post-it note.

The other trend, however, was encouraging: the rise of digital photography. While observing consumers, 3M researchers asked to see their photos. What followed was always a clunky process: Consumers would scroll through screen upon screen of photos or have to dig through a drawer for the few shots they printed. Nine months later a team of one marketer and two lab scientists hit upon the idea of Post-it Picture Paper, or photo paper coated with adhesive that lets people stick their photos to a wall for display. 'We listened carefully to what consumers didn't say and observed what they did,' says Jack Truong, vice-president of 3M's office supply division.

"We listened carefully to what consumers didn't say and observed what they did." Brilliant! Read more in The World's Most Innovative Companies.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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