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Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play Paperback – September 7, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0321437297 ISBN-10: 0321437292 Edition: 1st

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Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play + Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers + Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Innovation Through Understandingsm

 

The toughest part of innovation?Accurately predicting what customers want, need, and will pay for. Even if you ask them, they often can't explain what they want. Now, there's a breakthrough solution:Innovation Games. Drawing on his software product strategy and product management consulting experience, Luke Hohmann has created twelve games that help you uncover your customers'true, hiddenneeds and desires.

 

You'll learn what each game will accomplish, why it works, and how to play it with customers. Then, Hohmann shows how to integrate the results into your product development processes, helping you focus your efforts, reduce your costs, accelerate time to market, anddeliver the right solutions, right from the start.

  • Learn how your customers define success
  • Discover what customers don't like about your offerings
  • Uncover unspoken needs and breakthrough opportunities
  • Understand where your offerings fit into your customers' operations
  • Clarify exactly how and when customers will use your product or service
  • Deliver the right new features, and make better strategy decisions
  • Increase empathy for the customers' experience within your organization
  • Improve the effectiveness of the sales and service organizations
  • Identify your most effective marketing messages and sellable features

Innovation Gameswill be indispensable for anyone who wants to drive more successful, customer-focused product development: product and R&D managers, CTOs and development leaders, marketers, and senior business executives alike.

About the Author

Luke Hohmann is the founder and CEO of Enthiosys, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based software product strategy and management consulting firm. Luke is also the author of Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions and Journey of the Software Professional: A Sociology of Software Development. Luke graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.E. in computer engineering and an M.S.E in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan he studied cognitive psychology and organizational behavior in addition to data structures and artificial intelligence. He is a former National Junior Pairs Figure Skating Champion and American College of Sports Medicine certified aerobics instructor. A member of the PDMA, ACM, and IEEE, in his spare time he enjoys roughhousing with his four kids, his wife’s cooking, and long runs in the Santa Cruz mountains (because he really does enjoy his wife’s cooking).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (September 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321437292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321437297
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Luke Hohmann is the Founder and CEO of Conteneo Inc., the leading provider of Unified Collaboration Solutions. The author of three books with long titles, Luke's playfully diverse background of life experiences has uniquely prepared him to design and produce serious games. Luke graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.E. in computer engineering and an M.S.E. in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. In addition to data structures and artificial intelligence, he studied cognitive psychology and organizational behavior under such luminaries as Elliot Soloway, Karl Weick, and Dan Dennison. He is also a former United States National Junior Pairs Figure Skating Champion. Luke's work on using serious games to engage citizens has been covered in Businessweek and The Financial Times.

Check it out: http://conteneo.co/

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
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8%
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See all 25 customer reviews
Luke Hohmann's Innovation Games makes current paradigm obsolete.
Jose Pedro S. Pagano
This book shows creative ways to work with clients to find out what they like, don't like and want in new or updated products.
Darrin H. Kay
This book provided great games to utilize for spurring on customer demands and product development.
Innovator

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Muir, Alexander on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I run user experience research for one of the big tech firms in Seattle. I've been using this book recently to bring some more creativity and variety to the activities we do in our studies. I've found the games are really practical, and there is just-enough material on each to get going. So I'd definitely recommend it.

However, if someone isn't already familiar with running games like this, then they may need quite a bit of practice first. Since, the actual instructions are only part of the story: setting the right mood in the room is important, as is one's manner as a facilitator. The best way of learning this is practice, and working with someone who is already good at this and learning from them. Yet, as book go, there is another book I recommend on the subject: Moderating to the Max, and the Culture Code.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geri Winters on February 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
The process of eliciting requirements suffers from some of the same problems as the process of collecting information for expert systems. A person does not really know how much he or she knows about a subject. Each of us knows something so well, that much of what we know is not part of our conscious awareness. It is hard to bring that information to the conscious mind to share with another person.

What this tells me is when I am in the role of eliciting requirements from another person, I need many different ways of getting information, because different means will achieve different results. I can take an analytical approach (tell me about...), a physical approach (show me ...), and a creative approach (let's play a game ...). The more approaches I use, the more information I will get.

What I love about Innovation Games is that games use a part of the brain that we tend to ignore when "at work", bypassing the analytical parts and tapping into the fun, creative areas. This is a great way to find new information about the requirements of a product or service. I think it works especially well because most people I interview are expecting an analytical approach, and using games brings a fresh perspective.

Luke Hohmann has really captured a great set of games. He explains the games very clearly, and gives detailed instructions for how to organize an Innovation Games session so that everyone can make effective use of his techniques.

Thanks so much Luke for bringing us another great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David W. Smith on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
With the disclaimer that I worked with Luke while some of the ideas that turned into the Games where bouncing around in his head, I have seen these games work to produce tangible results. (We used an early version of Remember the Future to develop the successful plan for our first product deployment.)

In "Blink", Malcom Gladwell makes the point that if you ask people what they want, they will tell you what they *think* they want. (When asked, nobody thought they wanted the Aeron chair. Oops.) It takes a bit of digging to get beneath the thought level, tapping into real emotional wants and needs to extract ideas for products that stand a chance of being wildly successful. The Innovation Games help with that digging, engaging players above and below the level of concious thought.
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful By ksrp on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of the content of this book belongs in sales brochure not a book. A large proportion of this book is a long, overblown ad for the author's services.

Some of the ideas, while creative, are just repackaging of many well-known and established techniques.

In addition, there is one reality the author ignores. The exercises are not going to work well with "average," everyday people. They require a degree of creativity and acumen that quite honestly, most people (including very well-educated ones) just do not possess. I work in this industry everyday and if there is one thing I've learned it is most individuals are much better reacting to ideas than creating them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbon on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
It isn't the job of your customer to translate their needs into your product offerings. Of course, everyone says you just need to listen to your customer, but no one says how. In "Innovation Games" Luke Hohmann describes 12 games you can play to help you better understand your customers' needs and help you discover great products.

In part I, Luke first provides an overview for understanding and implementing innovation games. He then discusses the process from selecting the game to interpreting the results.

In part 2, twelve separate games are described which can help you understand one or more of the following:
- Unmet and/or idealized market needs
- Products and services usage and relationships
- Product and service functionality
- How to shape your product for the future

Finally, in part 3 tools and templates are provided to help you quickly start playing innovation games with your customers.

In a world where the mantras of "innovate" and "listen to your customer" prevail, Luke Hohmann gives you usable tools to help you do just that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Armond Mehrabian on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book because it's full of practical tools on discovering your customer's needs, wants, and likes. As an agile innovation consultant, I have used several techniques from this book to help customers describe their most important features (product box) and then prioritize them (buy a feature). The author emphasizes the need for thorough preparation and documentation while making the business process seem fun like a game.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to draw out customer requirements. There are even some techniques for discovering the killer features that will set your product apart from your competitors' (Give them a hot tub). I plan on using these techniques in upcoming customer engagements especially for helping them with strategic direction and product requirements gathering.

It's a must for any innovation professional.

Armond Mehrabian
amehrabian@portofinosolutions.com
Twitter: @armond_m
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