Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

I will drop the excuses and focus on customers now

Like anyone who is building a product or service, I'm full of ideas to improve Kanochart.

What people have been doing on the site this past week triggered some ideas. I have also been doing live surveys for a client this week, and I've gotten some ideas from that as well.

I want to rank this list of ideas. I don't want them to float around in my mind anymore. I want to put them in an ordered list so that I can focus my mental energy on actually building them.

The silly thing is that my own tool can help me with that. I can propose my ideas to my customers and have them prioritised by how my customers feel about them.

But I'm not doing that. I'd rather think about these things for myself than ask potential customers.

Oh yes, I've sent out some emails, tweeted to some people and left comments on Medium and IndieHackers. And sometimes, people react. And when they do, they're always helpful and positive.

But I have potential customers that I can talk to face-to-face very close to me. I work in an agency. I'm a strategy consultant. Every day, I help clients make decisions about their products, services and businesses. I can get first-hand, qualitative feedback from my colleagues and my clients.

And yet I don't ask any of them anything.

Les excuses sont faites pour s'en servir

As a consultant, I always go and talk to the end-customers of my clients. It's the only way for my clients to make the right decisions. I'm always amazed at how little companies actually talk to their customers.

Yet for myself, I come up with excuses why I can hold off talking to customers. One such excuse is that I built Kanochart to scratch my own itch. So in a way, I'm my own best customer. (Yeah, right).

https://www.kanochart.com/static/i-could-but.gif

Another excuse is that I don't want my employer to think that I'm trying to do something on the side. (I'm not, I like my job, so why worry about that). Yet another excuse is that my product is not finished enough yet. (But it never is, so why wait).

I have many more excuses to not talk to customers. I'm sure anyone who's built something knows these excuses too.

I want to understand why it is so hard to talk to customers. I've shown Kanochart to one (one!) colleague. I found that very difficult.

Her feedback was great, but in a way, I felt exposed. It's as if the professional and private overlapped. I felt like a child that must show its drawings to a stranger.

https://www.kanochart.com/static/when-marnie-was-there.gif

I'm building Kanochart to help teams make better decisions. I want teams to make products that are better aligned with what customers value.

To achieve this, I must force myself to talk to customers a lot more. Even if it makes me feel exposed.

So here's my resolution. I'm writing it down, so that I don't back off at the last minute. No more excuses.

My resolution

As a consultant, I give a lot of presentations. That doesn't stress me; it even energises me.

I'll be talking at a meetup about the methods I used to decide a client's product roadmap. I'll also talk about how I don't understand why companies find it so hard to talk to their customers.

The setting is perfect. Kano was one of the methods used during the client project. The majority of the audience are product people. So after I have explained the whole client project, I will talk about Kanochart.

I'll talk about how I made it to scratch my own itch. How I don't understand why I too am so reluctant to talk to customers. How I want to understand and experience what it means to talk to your own customers. I will ask the audience to give me their feedback about Kanochart.

I'm already getting nervous.

PS: Do you have any suggestions on what are the best ways to get product feedback from an audience of about 50 people? Let me know @kanochart

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