Hello World–The npersona blog is back after a restful–albeit extremely hot–4th of July holiday. Recently, I have been reading the book “Wired to Care”. The basic premise of the book is that in order to be able to develop successful products, businesses need to deeply understand and become their customers. In other words, as business people, we need to buy our own products or more colorfully put, we need to eat our own dog food–and like it….The idea is that as you become your own customer, you will be able to empathize with the people that use your product and will be able to develop features that truly add value to their (your) lives.
Another interesting point made in the book involved taking a different view of “The Golden Rule”. As you probably recall, the Golden Rule states to do unto others as you would like done onto you. The author takes a different view on the Golden Rule–best illustrated by a joke he tells in the book:
“A man takes the Golden Rule literally and for his anniversary decides to use it to buy a gift for his wife. The wife opens the gift–an electric drill and says “Oh honey, its exactly what you would have wanted!”
The point being that the Golden Rule applied to others, in particular your customers, “Do onto others as they would do onto themselves.” In other words, understand what they care about and make sure your provide that to them. Making others happy and being able to understand what they care about is intrinsic to developing successful products and to grow a business. People that connect with your products will more than happily spread the word and evangilize your products for you—look at Apple. Another great example in the book is when Microsoft decided to develop the XBox–it hired hard core gamers to develop their product–these people not only understood the target market–they were the target market. The product that resulted was a hit and the hardcore gamers liked it so much that they pushed it accross the “Chasm” and into the main stream…Because of the great success they had with the XBox, that same team was taped into creating the Zune. The result was a disaster. Why? Because in their hearts, the product development team were gamers not MP3 or music aficionados.
The bottom line: become your own customer to really understand how to impact your market.
What do you think?