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There is a great story about a decision Sony made when they created the legendary Walkman.

Against the advice of market research, Sony’s co-founder had asked the engineering team to build a portable music player that would ease the boredom on long flights.

The engineers then came back with what could only be termed a product manager’s dream for nearly the same amount of effort and cost, they were able to add an additional feature, a record button, to this cassette player.

But, to their dismay, Chairman Akio Morita asked them to remove the record button.

By reducing the device to serve a single use case, he eliminated any potential user confusion.

In the same way McDonalds removed steel cutlery from restaurants to make it clear how they wanted customers to eat their burgers, Sony released the Walkman with a lower range of functionality to give them the highest chance to change customer behavior.

And change behavior they did.

You can change behaviour if you know your market.

Knowing your market means spending time to know them.

Research them.

Walk a mile in their shoes.

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