(A Pixar tune sung on endless repeat)
Moana is not only a soundtrack that kids obsess about singing, it's also an inspiring film and a fun time.
If you've not yet seen it, Moana is now on Netflix. My four year old and I watched it again last week.
Behind all the fun, Brian Crofts, Chief Product Officer at Pendo, sees an important insight about how we get to real innovation. At a recent Product Tank event I heard him talk about the deep amount of research that went into making an impactful product such as this film.
Insights about the ocean's role in Pacific Islander life, for example, was only gained from visiting them where they were and conducting interviews. That led to the decision to create the Ocean as a character in the film - a powerful decision. but not one that was come to lightly. They had to dig to find it.
Brian himself demonstrates the importance of digging deep : reading through the book Creativity Inc, thinking critically about Moana enough to be curious and then to find out about the 3 wk immersion the Disney/Pixar team spent doing research and to then be persistent enough to share the insights for product development with his team at Pendo and with hundreds of others through his medium post, and multiple presentations. None of that came by magic. It took hard work directed toward first research and then actionable insight.
One final point, from my personal life: For the holiday yesterday, I watched The Princess and the Frog with my daughter for the 4th or 5th time. I always enjoy the storyline, the music, the general sentiment, the characters. In the middle of the night I woke up and remembered this blog post in my drafts folder, and a song from the film was playing in my head: "You gotta dig a little deeper." Though the song is catchy, the main characters (two humans turned into frogs) miss the main insight because they weren't listening enough closely. Also, this type of thinking takes hard work. So it's understandable.
Whether it's discovering who you are, what you need, what kind of product you want to build, it takes persistence and deep digging to get to the insights to have a breakthrough.
And that comes from talking to real people, from interacting with others and their products, from staying curious, and then sticking with it.
Did you find this encouraging? I hope so.
“You’ve gotta do more research … you gotta dig deeper