What Was the Best New Product of 2016? COTM

What comes to mind when thinking about the best new product of 2016?

Does something jump out for you, or do you have to think about it for a minute?

Well, don’t think too hard if nothing comes to mind, because this is our topic for the Bay Area Ventures Conversation of the Month, a monthly conversation with Donald Landwirth, which you can participate in.

The show airs weekly, Mondays at 4pm, and airs live the third Monday of each month at 4:00pm Pacific Time / 7:00pm Eastern Time, and replays throughout the week.

December 2016 – Conversation of the Month

Here’s the question and prompt to our audience:

“What was the best new product of 2016? Be specific. We want to know your answer and why you feel that way. What do you most like about the product? What problem does it solve or new technology does it introduce? Show us a picture of the product, you and product, or even submit a video of you using the product or service.”

Gathering the results & analyzing the data

Prompted by the aforementioned question and instructions, we used GlimpzIt to gather and analyze 1,672  total data-points.

These are made up of submissions from both:

1. Respondents who took a picture or video and explained their answers with a few lines of text. We call these “Glimpzes.”

2. Evaluators who provided a thumbs up or down, along with a brief text explanation of their own, in response to how well each Respondent’s submission resonated with them. We refer to all the Evaluators as a “GlimpzIt peer group.”

To clarify, a GlimpzIt peer group is independent from the Respondents who supply the actual Glimpzes. This peer group mirrors the demographics of the the Respondents identically.

It’s also important to note that prior to the Evaluators providing their opinions to the Respondents submissions, each of those submissions are validated. A “validated response” is one that’s determined to include quality data. So instead of including the data from a response such as a picture of a cat along with the text “I love kitties,” we only take into account those responses which provide relevant, valuable insights.

GlimpzIt methodology

You might be thinking, “Wait what? Why not just send out a survey with a tool like Typeform (which is a great tool by the way) and ask some multiple choice questions and be done with it?”

Well…for many reasons actually. Simply put, what we’re asking here is not a plain “yes or no” question. Furthermore, we want to get to the “why” hiding behind these responses; and to get to the bottom of why people feel a certain way, without adding limitations to the potential answers, we need to allow people to express themselves.

Until recently, the most common methodologies for this would have been to field a focus group or use another more in-depth methodology to uncover something that’s more complex than filling in a bubble or putting a check mark into a box.

However, focus groups can cost a whole lot of money and take up a ton of time. Most importantly, these methods of collecting qualitative data simply aren’t scalable.

We want real human insights, and we want to get to those insights as quickly and cost effectively as possible. On top of that, we want to be sure to gather reliable data, and a lot of it.

This is where artificial intelligence (or machine learning) and a tool like GlimpzIt comes into play, because it makes it possible to analyze qualitative data at quantitative scale.

For more on how GlimpzIt works, see the GlimpzIt Feature Guide

What was the best new product of 2016? 

There’s two parts to our results:

1. The products that were mentioned – Most notable Glimpzes

2. What we learned after analyzing the data with GlimpzIt – Visualizing the data

Quickly, before looking through the Glimpzes, yes, the iPhone 7, iPad Pro and Galaxy S7 Edge were all mentioned…but you already knew that 😉

Most notable Glimpzes

Oculus Rift

best new product of 2016 Oculus Rift
Text: “Big step forward in tech and I think it’s awesome and super fun”


best new product of 2016 Hatchimals
Text: “They were great fun for the kids” and “Fun interactive toy”

Hatchimals were mentioned multiple times. I can easily see how a child would love this product.

Apple TV

best new product of 2016 Apple TV
Text: “This Apple TV has made watching TV so much easier and convenient. I don’t have to use multiple devices and I can stream from my phone.”

Although this image is hard to make out, once you realize what it is, this response really resonated with us at GlimpzIt. It was truly an example of a picture speaking louder than words because there was no cable box, no other set top devices, no DVD players, etc. This one small device that tucks neatly under your flat screen TV, has the power to change your TV programming experience.

Dyson Eye

best new product of 2016 Dyson Eye
Text: “I love the new dyson eye vacuum cleaner which is like a Roomba but has the power and suction of a Dyson vacuum.”

Curel Hydratherapy

best new product of 2016 Curel Hydratherapy
Text: “My skin suffers from the winter very much but this year I started using this product and my skin stays hydrated no matter what” and “I have never been able to find something that works so well on my dry skin but this gets the job done. Way to go Curel!”

Curel Hydratherapy was another product mentioned multiple times. Must be pretty impressive!

Google Home

best new product of 2016 Google Home
Text: “I purchased the Google Home. Its been so helpful for me to run my busy household. I can get questions answered, schedules planned and saved.”

Sense Peanut

best new product of 2016 Sense Peanut
Text: “Sense Peanut Designed to easily solve daily life’s tasks just connects to phone”

The Sense Peanut is a smart wireless thermometer that connects with your phone via Bluetooth.

Visualizing the data

When looking at the graph below, in green you’ll see the most tagged themes found throughout all the Glimpzes (responses), which were recognized by GlimpzIt’s machine learning technology (e.g. Technology, Practical Use, Entertainment, etc.). In blue you’ll see what resonated most with Evaluators (up-votes and down-votes).

best new product of 2016 Tag Analysis


best new product of 2016 Tag Analysis Graph

Summing it all up

There was a clear message that technological products were among the most mentioned regarding the best new product of 2016.

For example a number of the respondents mentioned how smartphones are an important product as they are used on a regular basis. In addition to smartphones, virtual reality (VR) glasses and tablets were popular. There was also a lot of interest in personal devices, from entertainment, to better foods and drinks to skin care products.

Data also shows that consumers are expecting technological advancements to make their devices more powerful. This anticipation for more powerful products plays a major role in the decision making process for product managers and business leaders when rolling out a new version of an existing product, or releasing a new product. There’s a lot to live up to.

Would you like to participate in the next Bay Area Ventures Conversation of the Month?

Tune in to Bay Area Ventures on SiriusXM Channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School and check out Bay Area Ventures Conversation of the Month. The show airs every Monday at 4:00pm Pacific Time/7:00pm Eastern Time and replays throughout the week.  Its also available anytime on the SiriusXM mobile app.

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