Are you placing a higher value on listening to your customers over creating a vision of how business and products can be done differently? If this is you, as Mark Cuban would say, “You need to have your ass kicked.”
Customers aren’t always the smartest person in the room, so stop building your organization around them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t conduct focus groups and customer insights (these are super important), I’m just saying you shouldn’t build your entire organization around them.
Talking with lots of companies and entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is asking your customers what features or services they want to see – this isn’t always the case, just the majority of the time.
Instead of asking your customers what they want, come up with a vision of how business can be done differently, how the game can be changed. Customers don’t always see the value or need until they are slapped in the face with it. And when they try it, they love it and tell their friends!
It’s not the job of your customers to know what they want or need. That is your job. It is your job to study, predict, and create the future. Be a futurist, a visionary, a Steve Jobs.
When you think of customers, you think of people who work a full time job, run their kids around, go to school, along with several other things all wrapped into their day. They don’t have the time to do your job too.
It is your job as the entrepreneur to invent the future and stay ahead of the curve. Look high and low, around corners, inside the box (I will blog about this later), whatever it takes.
Now, go make your customers happy, take care of their needs, and listen to them. Just don’t build your entire company around them.