Innovation advice from a mobile payments rock star

The man behind the Starbucks payments app shares his approach to innovation.

Chuck Davidson is the man behind Starbucks’ payments app, one of the most successful payments apps to date.

Today, nearly 30% of the coffee maker’s transactions occur through the app—which is “nuts,” Davidson says.

Davidson, who is now the head of customer engagement at Cardfree, discussed the development process behind the app during the AXFI Conference in Minneapolis.

His approach to innovation:

Watch: Observe your customer using your products or services. This can be better than focus groups or even talking to people.

Ideate: Brainstorm with cross-functional teams and without idea boundaries.

Test and prototype: Be quick and dirty. Learn but don’t be invested at this stage. Iterate and course correct.


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