Customer obsession is the only winning strategy. Pretending to be customer obsessed is easy when the times are good. It’s easy to lose track of customer obsession when there’s plenty of funding, when you have decades-long network effects, or when you operate a monopoly. A few examples:
Thank you for this short but thoughtful note. To me, I believe there is no short term, long term. User centricity & care for users have to be at the core of every day thinking. It's hard when the incentives aren't clear but I believe it is fundamental that we do things that way (be it building a product or doing a service) for our fellow lives on planet earth and as a by product earn money, fame, recognition, support & love. Questions I ask are: What have we done for the users(could be free users, advertisers, premium users, rockstars, legends, politicians, kids...) today, yesterday, last quarter, last half...? Are we doing it in a way it is fair ? Are we ensuring there is no abuse on both sides - both for the user and the product/platform/service ? Have we clarified empathetically on how much we(say product or org) can support and where we won't be able to ? I think it is also a process to discover who 'you ultimately serve'. At times, I think I end being more guided by my intrinsic values and my outlook on what is right than what we think the customer needs.So yeah, tough obsession to pursue indeed but a worthy one.
‘… the toughest prerequisite for companies is actually understanding who is actually the customer’
And therein lays the problem. In many cases there are multiple ‘customers’ (or ‘stakeholders’ if we’re talking corporate internal) and their interests and priorities can collide. Whilst it’s admirable to try and represent all those interests (and you should try) it typically comes down to choosing which group you are actually directly serving and making sure you keep your eye on that particular ball. Trying to please everyone is often a futile and frustrating endeavour where oftentimes all benefit is lost in the squabble, so IMO you are better served picking your home team and let others worry about different groups. My 4 cents FWIW.
I love it. It always has to come back tot he customer, no matter what.
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