I just read a cool story about Lee Iacocca.
He was the CEO of Chrysler back in the 70s and was responsible for bringing the company back to life (before another inevitable decline, but for the sake of this story let’s roll with it).
The story is about doing research.
Because you have to do it.
But sometimes you don’t really have time. Or maybe you just want to understand whether working on something is a good idea.
And dedicating an insane amount of resources to researching before taking any kind of action, doesn’t seem reasonable.
Anyway, to the story…
Apparently one day Lee was strolling around the factory, when one of the workers stopped him.
“That car would look awesome as a convertible I think, just a thought”.
Well Iacocca, thought about it and as a good leader would, he took action.
Told the workers to get a blowtorch, then cut the roof off the car and let him drive around the neighbourhood to see people’s reactions.
Suffice it to say, Chrysler introduced the convertible just a while after that.
This is an incredible act of bold decision making and action-taking in the face of uncertainty.
Another person would have started running focus-groups, studies, tested designs and copy… it would have taken months.
Iacocca did it in a couple of days.
He did what’s been called “Guerilla research”.
Now I’m not advocating always trying to shortcut your way through researching your market.
What I’m saying is:
Sometimes, action trumps research.
Because in those cases, it’s the action that will get you the insights you need to move forward.
It’s what I do for my clients when we validate an assumption, or piece of copy.
We put it out and get data.
I remember hearing from someone that “Nothing survives contact with the market”.
At least nothing remains unchanged by the market.
It’s up to you to understand the lesson from it and adapt.
If you want to get a quick roadmap for running your own guerrilla research, let’s talk.