Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

How do you create products that sell themselves? That is what I will be speaking about at the National Speakers Association (NSA) national convention in Phoenix, AZ this summer.

As a way of promoting that event, I was interviewed by professional MC, Camille Valvo, for the “Voices of Experience.” This audio CD is sent to all members of the National Speakers Association.

Although this 8 minute interview (which you can listen to below) is targeted at professional speakers, the concepts apply to anyone in any industry. After discussing the innovation bell curve and its relevance to the speaking business, I talk about how to create…

What is interesting is that these two products were created “by accident.”

Personality Poker® was originally developed as an innovation tool for me to use with my corporate clients and in my keynote speeches. Inevitably, participants at my events would ask where they could buy the poker cards and the accompanying instruction manual. Instruction manual? I never planned to write one because I never planned to sell the cards. However, I decided to give my customers what they wanted. The first version of the instruction manual was pretty rough but was available within a month. The current version took quite a bit longer. The next version will be available September 2010, but more on that another time.

“The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas” was originally conceived as pamphlet. It was going to be 25 tips condensed into a booklet small enough to fit in a jacket’s breast pocket. Each tip would be 3 sentences long. What I discovered was that I had a difficult time choosing only 25 tips. And I had a more difficult time limiting each tip to just a paragraph. The result would have been trite sound bites. But I liked the idea of cataloging my 20+ years of experience into a series of tips. So during my spare time, I continued to write my thoughts in a Word document. I eventually pulled together 75 tips, each between one and two pages in length. I never expected to turn the Word document into a salable product.  But my clients loved the content and wanted to buy copies for the attendees of their events.  So, once again, I decided to listen to my customers and to give them what they wanted.  Interestingly, the current book cover was designed by one of my clients.

In just 9 months I have gone through 1,500 decks of poker cards (enough for 12,000 people), and over the past 18 months I have sold thousands of copies of the “Little Book.” Not bad for two accidental products.

The interview is not a sales pitch.  We do not focus on the products, but rather the thought process I went through in developing them. The purpose is to help people think differently about their products…and to help promote the NSA convention.

Download the mp3 (right click and “save target as” to download to your computer)

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