"You will never look at 'new ideas' the same way again." -H. Wayne Huizenga, founder and former chairman and CEO of Blockbuster Inc.
"I would strongly suggest that all marketers read this book before they decide to launch a new product, line extension or enter a new line of business." -Mark R. Goldston, chairman and CEO, United Online, Inc., which includes NetZero, Juno, Classmates and MyPoints.com brands
David Minter and Michael Reid know innovation. For more than 25 years, they have contributed to the growth of such companies as Blockbuster, Dole, Viacom, Sony and Einstein Bagels.
Lightning in a Bottle presents Minter and Reid's simple seven-step system for creating ideas that work-one that improves new-product success rates from the standard one in 10 to one in two or better. Lightning in a Bottle also explains the top 10 reasons ideas fail, plus the dirty secrets of the research world, such as:
-Why focus groups don't work for new products
-How market segmentation is often a sham
-Why brainstorming in not effective in creating great new products
In the tradition of Execution and Good to Great, Lightning in a Bottle is the new must-have guide for business leaders.
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About the Author
Throughout his career, Minter has worked with high-growth companies to bring new ideas to the marketplace. Minter began his career at Motorola Inc., where he was responsible for product planning and competitive analysis. He then joined Dole Food Company, where he managed the analysis of international market information and was responsible for new business development.
Minter has spent much of his career working with Blockbuster, Inc. during the company's high-growth years. Minter was a senior marketing executive responsible for directing all consumer research, with specific expertise in entertainment, technology, and retail. Over the course of four years, he worked directly with H. Wayne Huizenga to open at least one store per day, increase market share, and unearth innovative consumer products and experiences for all business units, including Blockbuster Video, Blockbuster Music, Spelling Entertainment Corp., Republic Pictures, Blockbuster Park, Discovery Zone, Soundsational, the Florida Marlins, and the Florida Panthers. During the period that Blockbuster was majority owned by Viacom, Inc., Minter worked with other Viacom companies including Showtime Networks, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
Milestones include the introduction of videogames; expansion into the retail music business; investment into new entertainment ventures; and market introductions for DVD, video on demand, online rentals, and DirecTV pay-per-view. Minter was awarded Blockbuster's first patent. His work with Blockbuster, now in its second decade, has contributed to multibillion-dollar revenue growth and expansion from 500 stores to 8,500 stores.
In 1995, Minter relocated to Denver to help found Einstein-Noah Bagel Corporation, where he served as vice president of research and concept development. He was responsible for garnering consumer input for store design, product development, and brand management. Minter's contributions helped the company grow from zero to four hundred units in two years, and a successful IPO in 1996.
In addition to his role as principal of Minter + Reid, Minter is president of Minter & Associates, a marketing advisory and research consultancy he founded in 1997 that conducts high-level research work for clients throughout the U.S. and internationally. David also serves as VP-Marketing for Denver-based start-up company SmartCare Family Medical Centers. Minter was recently awarded his second patent, which addresses commercializing Internet radio advertising. He earned his bachelor of business administration and master of business administration degrees, cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University, and lives with his wife and son near Denver, Colorado.
Michael Reid is one of two principals who lead Denver-based Minter + Reid. Reid's expertise includes design, management, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative research in telecommunications, entertainment, media, packaged goods, and utilities. He has helped several of the world's largest cable companies develop digital and telephony products; developed a new music-testing system for major labels to dramatically increase the odds that a new single will "chart"; and uncovered specific consumer preferences that helped the New York Post and Denver Post achieve the highest circulation growth in the newspaper industry.
Additionally, Reid has worked side-by-side with Minter in developing Blockbuster's online rental strategy, DVD in-store sales, and DVD trading-programs that contributed to Blockbuster's forty-seven-quarter record for continuous same-store sales growth.
Reid also is president of Paragon Media Strategies, a Denver-based full-service marketing and research company that generates actionable information for some of the world's largest media and entertainment companies, including News Corporation, Media News, Blockbuster, Susquehanna Communications, and Rogers Media. Paragon Media was founded in 1987, and employs more than seventy-five research and marketing professionals.
Reid earned his bachelor of arts at Doane College. As a Fulbright Scholar, he attended Phillips University (Marburg an der Lahn, Germany). He lives with his wife and children in Denver, Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
This book is about creating and developing ideas that will
drive your business.
Ideas that drive a business are the "lightning in a bottle." It is exciting to be part of the process that comes up with new ideas for products and services, and to execute them successfully. It is thrilling to make an impact with an idea you created. It is the most fun part of business. Nothing else compares.
This book talks about three kinds of ideas that are the heart of business growth:
--Ideas for new products
--Ideas for new marketing programs
These three fuel American business. Without them, business stagnates and eventually dies. There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Consider Blockbuster Video. The advent of the VCR in the early eighties gave birth to a new way of watching movies at home. American households couldn't rent movies fast enough. And Blockbuster couldn't open up stores fast enough-even at the torrid pace of a new store every seventeen hours. When you've got an idea that's working, it is electrifying.
Table of ContentsPreface -
1. Lightning in a Bottle
2. A Blockbuster (Video) Idea
3. The Problems with How New Products Are Developed Today
4. The Upside-Down Pyramid-Or How Ideas Are Developed in Corporate America
5. Why Nine Out of Ten New Products Fail
6. How a Good Idea Can Go Bad: The Battle of the Bagel
7. Top Ten Reasons Ideas Fail
8. Less Is More
9. Market Segmentation and Aggregation
10. The Creative Genius of Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch
11. Idea Engineering: Seven Steps
12. Idea Engineering: Let's Start a Record Label
13. Bedrock: It's More Than Fred & Wilma's Hometown
14. What Interviews with Thousands of Consumers Taught Us
15. Don't Wait for a Miracle
About the Authors