A startup marketing veteran, Radhika Dutt is the author of the new book Radical Product Thinking. Her experience has taught her that we don’t need more products—we need radical products that create change. Our conversation this week covered everything from the overuse of pivots to avoiding digital pollution.
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Radhika Dutt is the author of Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter. An entrepreneur and product leader, she has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies that she founded. She has built products in industries including broadcasting, media, advertising technology, government, consumer, robotics, and wine.
Dutt advises organizations from high-tech startups to government agencies on building radical products that create a fundamental change instead of optimizing the status quo. She also teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Dutt cofounded Radical Product Thinking as a movement of leaders creating vision-driven change and is a frequent speaker at business events and conferences around the world.
She graduated from MIT with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and speaks nine languages, currently learning her tenth.
What makes a product radical? We had to start here. “A radical product is a product that creates change.” While some overuse pivots (which the market doesn’t always bear as Radhika notes), she advocates starting with a series of questions. First up? “Who’s world are we trying to change?”
Avoid Hypometricemia. While we have a wealth of metrics available today, Radhika suggests marketers focus on what matters most. “Who are you optimizing for? Is it local or global?”
Are you contributing to digital pollution? In Radical Product Thinking, Radhika notes that all of the products and media today add up to a lot of noise. “It’s the collateral damage to the world from our products. It’s fraying the fabric of society.”
And it’s not just big tech. Because many fail to see nuance, big tech is blamed as the only digital polluter. But it’s all of us. That’s why we have to be responsible with our innovation, vision, products, and marketing.
What brand has made Radhika smile recently? Radhika shared one of the coolest smiles I’ve heard in a while. “It’s probably a brand you’ve never heard of—Lijjat.” The India-based poppadum lentil cracker company is owned by 45,000 women who are all equal partners. “They’re vision-driven—they wanted to create a dignified living for themselves and other women.”
As We Wrap …
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