Toyota Sienna

At Toyota, the manager responsible for the design and development of a new model is called the chief engineer … The 2004 Sienna was assigned to Yuji Yokoya, who had very little experience in North  America, which was the Sienna’s primary market … he proposed an audacious entrepreneurial undertaking: a road trip spanning all fifty U.S. states, all thirteen provinces and territories of Canada, and all parts of Mexico … In small town and large cities, Yokoya would rent a current-model Sienna, driving it in addition to talking to and observing real customers. From those first hand observations, Yokoya was able to test his critical assumptions … ‘If I learned anything in my travels, it was the new Sienna would need kid appeal.’ … Yokoya spent an unusual amount of the Sienna’s development budget on internal comfort features, which are critical to a long-distance family road trip (such trips are more common in America than in Japan).

Eric Ries, Lean Startup, (p. 86-87)


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