It is often said that great start-ups are born when the founders are the users and the problem to be solved is going to make that founder/user person happy. You get some important related things for free with that setup:
- A very tight and inexpensive user-product feedback loop
- Version dogfooding by the same highly invested people during critical early iterations.
- The state of mind of an ‘imagined unicorn user’ does not have to be imagined at all but is instead the direct feedback of a real person in the room building the product.
How do large companies create this loop? Is it even possible? It seems to require support for internal skunksworks projects (as opposed to hiring consultants and outside agencies) that is tasked to solve real problems that the company is experiencing. One shining example of such a project becoming a product is the internal Amazon project that is now AWS.
Inspiration: Amazon Turned a Flaw into Gold with Advanced Problem-Solving – HBR.