Through the years, I’ve accumulated a good amount of books about photography, design, typography, business, legal, and, of course, several technical books. I’ve also had some Mario Puzo and Star Trek novels, maps, travel guides and other stuff. As you can see my taste in reading material is quite varied.
I’ve read them at least once and there are some that I’d pick up and browse through over and over. There are a couple which I’ve never finished and at least one that I’ve never even attempted to read.
I’ve had these books in a book case which I’ve tried to keep neat and dust-free. I liked looking at this book case because, somehow, it’s like a shrine to my journey to who I am now. It reminded me of who I was, what I’ve learned, and how I evolved as a person.
I loved how my friends reacted to what they saw in this book case. Some were amused. Some appreciated me more. Some got turned on (best part ever). It would be the most interesting piece of furniture that I owned, next to my mattress, of course.
With beer in hand, I’d look at it as a trophy case and smile, and relish all the memories. But lately, I started asking myself what the point really is.. what the point is in having all these books that nobody else is reading anymore.
It’s when I realized that these books have got to go. I’ve benefitted a lot from them but they must now be passed on, because books that are not in the hands of whom needs them most are useless books.
Sometimes I just don’t get it with people’s obsession with the latest electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, etc) when the one they’re holding is a perfectly useful one.
Your smartphone, for one, is now more than just a phone and the things that you can do with it and what your phone can “become” will surprise you with the more than half a million apps available for it.
But the question is, have you actually made good use of the last shiny thing you bought just a few months ago? Or are you still using it like the good old Nokia 5110?
If you’re not exploiting it as you should, maybe all you need after all is just a simple phone.
We’ve seen this scene many times. A company makes a product or does a service and sells it to a customer for bucks, moving on to the next customer, and forgetting about the last. Who cares whether our customers are happy? Who cares as long as we’ve made a sale right? Sadly, this is a scenario that is more of a rule than an exception.
Nobody comes up with a perfect product of service, sure. But the least we can do is to be open about how exactly our customers are doing with regard to their experience so we can tweak our product better. They paid for it anyway. It’s a chance to show that it’s not all about just the sale but that we truly care. Seth Godin suggests that it could very simply start with one small but brave move by asking your customers, “How’d it work out?”
If you refuse to listen, if you refuse to better yourself, if you refuse to even consider whether your product is really relevant or not, if you refuse to acknowledge that your business is about the customer’s delight in the first place, then, what differentiates you from con artists? What differentiates you from businesses who rely on breakage and slippage?
Marketing and selling a product is just a first step (some say it should be the later). Delivering a delightful product and a service that leaves your customers breathless is another.
So, are you someone who would pay gladly for your own company’s product and still be happy with the post-sales experience? Would you care about YOUR own experience? If YOU won’t be your own customer, then it’s time for some introspection.
When friends and colleagues learned I was going to focus more on iOS development, they quickly asked whether I was going to do Android as well. The quick answer to that was a clear No simply because I don’t have the resources to allocate on a platform where my chances of making a sale as an independent developer is very slim.
A friend, Estan Cabigas recently shared an interesting story about the PNR (Philippine National Railways) Bicol Express that reminded me of a trip I have yet to make. I’ve been planning to do that some time next year. I’m still hoping there’s a cargo hold somewhere that would allow me to bring my Vespa with me so I can better explore the local towns. The other way to go is go Vespa all the way but the experience would, of course, be different (though equally fun, I’m sure!). That deserves a plan of its own.