I first had the idea to write this book in the summer of 2003 when I was helping QUALCOMM Wireless Business Solutions (QWBS) plan a sales training seminar. The seminar was unique because we were inviting customers to teach the sales team which part of the sales processes had actually worked. That wasn't going to take all day, so the QWBS planning team asked me, "What else can we do with our customers?"
Not surprisingly, I suggested that we use some of the informal games I had developed to better elicit customer needs and desires. As Joan Waltman described in her foreword, QWBS overcame their initial skepticism and obtained valuable insights from playing the games with their customers. I reflected on our experience, and thought that it contained the seed of what would be a useful book for people who want to better understand their customers. Hopefully, you'll agree.
More importantly, like the many people who work for companies that have committed themselves to creating market-leading innovations by better understanding their customers, I hope you'll see the end of this book as the beginning of your use of Innovation Games.
If I am ever fortunate enough to meet with you in your office, I look forward to seeing several product boxes on the top of your bookshelf right next to the spider webs and Start Your Day calendars hanging on your walls. Next to them, I hope to find photographs and rich descriptions of your customers from Me and My Shadow as I listen to you describe the customer artifacts you collected playing Show and Tell. Somewhere beneath all of these things I hope to see a worn and battered copy of Innovation Games, no longer needed because of the many games that you've played with your customers. Until then, I'll enjoy reading about your experiences in the Innovation Games forum at www.innovationgames.com.