Chapter 11 An End-to-End Lean Product Case Study

Now that I've described each of the six steps of the Lean Product Process in detail, I want to walk through a real-world case study to further solidify the concepts I've covered. I've shared this example in talks and workshops that I've given, and many participants have told me how helpful it is to see the application of the Lean Product Process with an end-to-end example.


One of my clients asked me to help define and evaluate a new product called This client's company had a successful consumer web service and was contemplating a new web service to pursue a potential market opportunity. I worked closely with two company executives and a UX designer on this project.

The new service idea centered on a widespread customer problem associated with direct mail—namely, that many people who receive direct mail do not find it valuable and consider it a nuisance. The executives had some insight into the direct mail industry and knew that the mailings were targeted based on marketing databases that profiled customers. For example, you might receive an unsolicited coupon for cat litter from a certain pet store chain because a marketing database somewhere indicates that you have (or are likely to have) a cat in your household.

The idea was to solve this problem by providing a product that gave customers transparency into the profile that marketers had built of them and empower them to make that profile ...

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