Radical Product Thinking Book Summary - Radical Product Thinking Book explained in key points
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Radical Product Thinking summary

R. Dutt

The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter

4.1 (352 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Radical Product Thinking by R. Dutt is a guide for product managers and entrepreneurs to adopt a customer-focused approach. It provides practical tips and case studies to create innovative, successful products that solve customer problems.

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    Radical Product Thinking
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    An iteration-led approach to product development rarely leads to revolutionary products.

    Once upon a time – in 2005, to be exact – there was a scrappy little start-up named Odeo. They were busy working on their product, when, one day, they received some terrible news: Apple was about to release a new app called iTunes, which would include a built-in podcasting platform. 

    The problem? Odeo’s product was also a podcasting platform. Surely they couldn’t compete with a tech giant like Apple. The founders knew they had to pivot, so they asked their employees for suggestions. 

    One of them had a promising idea: a service that would allow users to share status updates. The idea went through multiple iterations, until it finally became a microblogging platform. The employee’s name was Jack Dorsey, and the platform was called Twitter. 

    Want to follow their lead and iterate your own way to the Next Big Thing? Well, think again.

    The key message here is: An iteration-led approach to product development rarely leads to revolutionary products. 

    Buoyed by success stories like Twitter, “iteration” has become the name of the game for many product developers in recent years. With an iteration-led approach to product development, you don’t start with a clear vision of what you want your product to be. Instead, you just take whatever you already have, try to make improvements on it, and come up with new versions, or iterations, of it. Then, you keep iterating until you stumble upon a winner – anything that helps you achieve your immediate objectives, like capturing market share. 

    If you’re exceedingly lucky, you end up with the next Twitter. But more often, you end up with a lackluster product like the Chevy Bolt – GM’s flagship electric car. 

    Now, there’s nothing terrible about this vehicle. There’s just nothing groundbreaking either. And that’s because, when developing it, GM didn’t have a clear vision of what they wanted to build. They simply wanted to bring a commercially viable electric car to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible, to compete with Tesla. 

    With that aim in mind, they took an iteration-led approach. For instance, rather than designing a brand-new chassis, they borrowed the one they already had in their gas-powered Chevy Spark and built on top of it. 

    The result? An electrified evolution of an old car, rather than an electrifying revolution in the automobile industry, like the one Tesla has been leading with its trailblazing Model 3. 

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    What is Radical Product Thinking about?

    Radical Product Thinking (2021) lays out a step-by-step approach to developing game-changing products. Taking aim at the iteration-led approaches to product development that have become popular in recent years, it provides an inspiring, vision-driven alternative. 

    Radical Product Thinking Review

    Radical Product Thinking (2023) by R. Dutt is an insightful exploration of product innovation and how it can drive business success. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • With its groundbreaking ideas and fresh perspectives on product development, it challenges conventional thinking and inspires innovative approaches.
    • The book presents real-world case studies and practical strategies, giving readers the tools they need to implement radical product thinking within their organizations.
    • Through its engaging storytelling and relatable examples, it enhances the reading experience, ensuring that the subject matter remains captivating and enjoyable.

    Who should read Radical Product Thinking?

    • Product developers 
    • Entrepreneurs 
    • Change-makers

    About the Author

    R. Dutt is an entrepreneur, a product thinking advisor at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and an instructor in entrepreneurship at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. She was the cofounder of Lobby7 and Likelii, and she’s worked in key positions at Starent Networks and Allant. Radical Product Thinking is her first book.

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    Radical Product Thinking FAQs 

    What is the main message of Radical Product Thinking?

    The main message of Radical Product Thinking is to transform the way we approach product development.

    How long does it take to read Radical Product Thinking?

    The reading time for Radical Product Thinking varies, but it can be completed in a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Radical Product Thinking a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Radical Product Thinking is valuable for product managers and entrepreneurs. It offers fresh insights and practical strategies for innovation in today's fast-paced market.

    Who is the author of Radical Product Thinking?

    Radhika Dutt is the author of Radical Product Thinking.

    What to read after Radical Product Thinking?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Radical Product Thinking, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Product Operations by Melissa Perri & Denise Tilles
    • Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
    • Empowered by Marty Cagan with Chris Jones
    • Inspired by Marty Cagan
    • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • The Intelligence Trap by David Robson