When Innovating Consider Extreme Use
When I think of extreme use my mind often goes to extreme sports (i.e skateboarding, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, in-line roller-skating, street lugeing, and BMX and mountain biking), all things that are fun to watch that I would never do. In the terms of product development though we really could be talking about uses outside of the initial intended use.
When I think of this from a drug development perspective, the most recent Life Science Success podcast with Christina DiArchangelo comes to mind. In the episode she talks about using HIV or Ebola drugs for the possible treatment of COVID-19.
How does this tie to product development? We often characterize product development around the average user.
What if you considered the following?
Age: Child to Elderly
Geography: Developing Country to Developed Country
Ability: Disabled to Super Human (extreme athlete)
Frequency: One Time to Repeated Use
Experience: Novice to Expert
In developing a product, having a way to cross as many of these items off of the list may be important in finding funding or gaining support along the way. Having the ability to say that you have a product that touches quite a few of these items are critical especially when you run into challenges.
In simple terms…think outside the box!