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Morfternight #54: Research informs, Vision drives.
The one where we also learn about Sonatas.
🤩 Welcome to the five new Morfternighters who joined us last week.
We love to have you here, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading Morfternight.
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📷 Photo of the week
Walk - More Photos
👋 Greetings from Austria!
Today Austrians elect their President.
Alexander Van der Bellen, the incumbent, is a strong favorite in what could be a breath of fresh air after years of painful elections worldwide.
It’s not such a big deal per se. Austria is small, and the President here doesn’t have extensive powers. Nevertheless, considering that, six years ago, the election was too close to call, to the point it had to be redone a few months later, and that the opponent back then was from the far-right party, I’ll take the win, as small as it is, of reason and stability over populism and fearmongering.
🗺️ Three places to visit today
Successful products solve customers’ problems. It doesn’t mean people know they have such problems or that they could devise the best solutions if you ask them. Research vs Vision: the origin story of Sony Walkman, Mini Cooper, and the iPhone illustrates this point through the origin story of three iconic products.
On the other hand, the absolute wrong read of the above examples is to ignore your potential customers completely. Although they can’t tell you directly what you need to build, you can make successful products by understanding how they work and live, what they struggle with, and what they are ready to pay for. Read The Iterative-Hypothesis customer development method for a quick overview of how interviewing potential customers can help you understand your product space well enough to succeed.
If you want to dig deeper into the subject, I strongly recommend reading Just Enough Research by Erica Hall.
🎶 Leonard Bernstein’s Music Lessons
A few days ago, I randomly discovered, in TikTok of all places, that about 60 years ago, Leonard Bernstein gave music lessons to young people in the form of live concerts.
The lesson I stumbled upon was this one, explaining what a Sonata is.
As I looked for it on YouTube to share it here with y’all, I had the pleasant surprising realization that it was, in fact, only one of 53 episodes that cover all aspects of music. You can access the complete list of lessons if you watch the video above or by clicking directly on this link.
You might remember, if you were already a Morfternighter back then, that I shared the recording of a few short physics lessons by Richard Feynman a few months ago.
I find the rhythm and tone of these old recordings delightful to follow compared to the incredibly fast-paced delivery of modern videos.
Of course, that only applies to areas where our knowledge hasn’t evolved much in the past few decades, but I think that both fundamental physics and classical music qualify.