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2009 Idea Round Up

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

ideas2.pngA couple of our regular Lithospherans (Lithosphereans, Lithospherei?) have suggested that it would be a great idea to write a round up of Ideas activity this year. Well consider it done... and kudos to that idea...!


If you've ever visited Lithosphere before you'll know that the Ideas area is where we solicit feedback on our product platform, looking at everything from new features, suggestions on user interface, reporting or administration tools or even on off the wall ideas.


Just like the customers who utilize our platform on a daily basis, our product managers pay attention to what the ideas are and how popular they are with other users. It's a great source of the pulse of our user base from the people who know and breathe the the platform on a daily basis.


Sometimes we'll take the idea straight into our queue, but generally we'll often ask for a little more clarification or comments from people and that's where the statuses come in handy.

ideas.pngSo here's our round up for 2009


Total Submitted Ideas: 158


Implemented:  14

Accepted (in development now): 3

Under Consideration: 14

Comments Requested: 72

Future Review: 19


Now for you eagle-eyed readers, no the ones I have listed don't add up to 158.


The reason for that is that a number of ideas were duplicates, and some of the brand new ones haven't had time for the community to respond to yet. As soon as they start to get voted up, then we'll draw them into the queue for the product managers.


Thanks for all the input, a lot of these ideas were incorporated into our new v9.x this year, we're very grateful for the ideas. But (as they say) there's more to come!  I know that one of our product managers, Manjeera, will be writing an article in the new year about some more features that will be making their way from Lithosphere to the platform. Keep an eye out for that!


Thanks again and have a very happy new year!



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Honored Contributor



Great write up and demonstration of a closed loop process and accountability to your customers who have submitted ideas.  Without some level of follow through, an ideas program becomes nothing but a gimmick, so I think you are demonstrating a best practice here.


Ideas, and the democratic mechanisms of comments and kudos / votes are potentially a fair way of determining how popular or applicable to the majority of your user base an idea may be.   While we haven't implemented ideas formally in our community, we do get a lot of vocal feedback on our blogs, especially our design blog, as well as in the forum.  One of our super users developed a very detailed marketplace survey that gathered and ranked feature preferences, relative importance, and customer willingness to spend more for them as a premium.  Clear signs to me that customers want to have some influence in future offerings, and likely, including customer feedback improves brand affinity and future investment. 


One of the challenges I see is that what is important to a reasonable number of very vocal, very articulate members may not be important to all customers, or even to the customers to which a significant portion of revenue might be attributed.


How does one then reconcile that with the community?  


Whether on this blog or one of Lithium's new blogs in 2010, it might be interesting to hear some of Lithium's perspectives on ideas, drawing lessons learned from the implementation here.  Should ideas remain completely free form - where customers introduce their ideas and peers comment and vote?  Might Lithium create a branch / instance of the ideas exchange and lead with some proposed ideas - treat it as a focus group?  Perhaps a hybrid mix?