On October 24th, Coherent solutions held its Innovation 2019 event. There was a good mix of highly technical and practical talks. I put together some of the highlights on the keynote that I especially enjoyed. I hope you enjoy them too.

You’ve probably heard the adage; the customer is always right. Well, it turns out that saying applies to almost every aspect of your business. The keynote speaker Paul DeLaria shared how Amazon is obsessed with its customers. This may sound like business 101, but Paul talked about how this obsession moves Amazon to make decisions that don’t always make business sense to serve the customer. Then paul shared several things that help make their team at Amazon successful.

  1. Resisting proxies. It’s important to let customer data and surveys accurately represent the feelings of the customer. We naturally want the best feedback possible, and this can move us to try and influence the data. But, only honest, unincumbered feedback can make your organization better.
  2. High-velocity decision making. There are one-way and two-way door decisions. Two-way door decisions are those that are reversible and should be made often. One-way door decisions are irreversible, important decisions that you need to take your time with. Identifying which decisions are one-way and two-way will help you make decisions faster and reduce bureaucracy.
  3. Embrace external trends. Your customers may want something that doesn’t match your current business strategy. Don’t ignore your customers. Keeping an open mind to customer desires can help you create truly innovative products.
  4. Work backwards. Paul talked about how his team starts with the press release and FAQ pages. This might be something developers feel uncomfortable with, but it forces them to start with the business problem instead of the solution. This helps them create digital products that aren’t just tools but are solutions.
  5. Two pizza teams. Never have more people in the room than you can feed two pizzas to. Including more people in a meeting slows down decision making and can lead to ineffective meetings. Small teams improve agility and workflow, which leads to a higher production velocity.

These were just some of the highlights from Innovation 2019. This event was sponsored by Coherent Solutions, a custom software development company based out of Minneapolis. I look forward to learning more about the future of technology at their next event.