You want to build something great. We all do. And we hope that customers will love our products as much as we do. But too many people cut corners simply because it takes hard work to earn that desired love. And when the shortcuts lead to a focus on product hype and bolstering company valuation rather than serving adoring customers, it can spell big trouble.
I hope that you do not hold it against me. But I love my job. And I think you should too. This is why I spent the last year writing words of happiness — words of love. I wrote them for me and you. Roughly 64,000 words laid out over 236 pages in a book. It is called Lovability. It launched today and I am humbled that it is already an Amazon bestseller.
Marketing agencies get a bad rap. It can be said that they foster ruthless work environments aimed at one thing: racking up the biggest client spend bill possible. Well, I’m happy to provide a counter to that impression. My agency experience was nothing like that at all.
Why do some people work so much harder than others? Some might say they do it because of martyrdom or the pursuit of accolades. But my experience has shown that those who do more than expected simply love the job and want to contribute to the team’s success.
I feel fortunate to have been a part of four great SaaS product teams over the years. My experience has given me the opportunity to work on vastly different products that solved real problems. One thing each product and engineering team had in common — in order to ship great products and features, they were in sync.
It was the best of companies, it was the worst of companies. One built something that the people loved. It poured energy into delighting customers. Eventually, it was rewarded with a great fortune. The second company disregarded people. This company was mischievous and greedy. While it succeeded in the short-term, customers and employees eventually revolted. The company lost trust, along with its great fortune.
You are probably familiar with the “elevator pitch.” You know, the one-minute speech every seasoned salesperson has memorized to deliver at a moment’s notice. It may be a cliche, but like all cliches, it is rooted in some truth. And it could help you get hired.
We know you learn about customer ideas from lots of different places. But it may be hard to figure out which ones you should prioritize on your roadmap. You want to invest in the ideas that will best serve your customers and have the most positive impact on the business. But which ones are those? Our integration with Salesforce is designed to help answer this question and capture all of the requests in one place.
Have you ever said “I love you” … to software? Maybe once or twice. One product that has earned my heartfelt devotion is the Strava cycling app. I use it on my morning rides to record my speed and routes. This real-time data provides a history of where I rode, with whom, and how fast (or slow) I went. Today’s ride: 25.2 miles at an average of 19.4 mph. Not too bad.
My first job as a programmer was working with a legacy Visual Basic 6 application. Although VB has always been looked down upon as a programming language, it delivered a fundamental lesson for me.
Remember the days before mobile maps — when you had to print out directions before you even got into the car? That is why GPS was so groundbreaking. Finally, there was a way to see where you were in real-time and quickly reroute when you got off track.
Would you ever eat a can of cat food? Under the right conditions, perhaps. On a dare or if you were hungry enough with nothing else to reach for. But cat food is created with felines in mind. For most humans, it would undoubtedly be edible, but nauseating. And you would probably not be inspired to crack open another can anytime soon.
Pushy sales people. Marketing claims that hover somewhere between an overreach and an outright lie. You know the kind of company I am talking about. Sadly, there are too many organizations that encourage employees to do or say anything to grow, grow, grow sales. I am sure you can imagine the closed-door conversations: “Who cares? Sam, just get the money!”
What? Love and business? Yep. It is a concept I explain in Lovability, my new book — it means building a product that customers love and a business where people can do meaningful work and be happy doing it. The word “lovability” sounds friendly, but achieving it is not easy. It requires honoring a deep responsibility to yourself and your co-workers.