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So I’m going through my stack of articles that I rip out of magazines and save for the “some day” that I’m going to do something with them and came across this article about the top 50 Innovative businesses of 2009 that appeared in the March 2009 issue of Fast Company.
Amazon comes in at #9 with a tagline piece of advice “what’s dangerous is not to evolve.”
The article is about the incredible sales of the Kindle. Of course, almost a year later, the Kindle isn’t new news but there was a statement in the article that was important enough for me to circle it and save:
“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.”
It is rare that a company begins its life or expands its offerings by first asking the customer what they want or need. If we start with the customer first – how would that change what we offer or how our business evolves?
I talk with many entrepreneurs who ask “how many years did it take you before you refined your niche market.” Or other veterans of business who say “my business today isn’t anything like what I thought it would be when I started.”
If we started with the customer first…would we get to our ideal business sooner? Do you have a customer focused business?