I love traveling in Milan by using the public transportation, not only because I can get to places in a shorter time, without finding myself on some dead-end streets, but mostly for the sense of community that I always find. The fact that a lot of people find themselves in the same place traveling and respecting each other, is something really important in my opinion. In the time shared together, you can learn a lot from people, just by observing them, and you can have a real feedback on new trends and how the society is evolving.
Part of my job consist in understanding how to place specific products on different segments of market, by understanding who is willing to pay a price for that product, identify the best way to attract the target and deliver the message in the most effective way possible. What market studies sometimes can’t tell you, is the everything regarding the product-user experience, like: How people are going to live the product? how tare going to use it? if it would be comfortable. Questions that could be easily answered by looking first person at the market.
Take for example the Amazon Kindle, its success is not given only by the price, books availability and battery length. The experience that customer have with it is the real success factor, think about how easily you can read the screen on a crowded metro or you can put it away n a short time… things that only by observing the market can be truly understand. You can provide everything people want, but it they can’t use it as they want, the product risks to fail.
The previous considerations brings in my mind this quote: “The Map is not the Territory“. This explains the fact that, for how much your data could be correct and detailed, you can’t have their real understanding, because you can’t place them into the target’s reality. Once you become for a short time part of your market, you would be able to understand the real questions and see the challenges.