Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

Everyone is my customer

with one comment

Recently I was involved in a consulting gig for developing an enterprise level practice management solution for the health sector. During the discussion, after having spent a good deal of time doing the whole system analysis and needs assessment, a question was thrown on the floor – “Who are your end customers”.

While in this instance, the guys had a pretty good understanding of who that was, so often I come across businesses with brilliant ideas and innovative concepts that fail to understand, let alone define their target market.

During the course of my journey as the CEO of Genesis Interactive, I have learnt valuable lessons on how to avoid the trap called “everybody”.

If everybody was your customer, then who are you competing with? well! Everyone.

During my recent trip to the Gold Coast, Grant Thomson, CEO of IBO Global made a very interesting statement.

“Creating and selling vitamin pills is easy – but there is a very small niche market for it; whereas if you can identify and expose someone’s pain, everyone would want to buy a painkiller”

Your product or service ought to be killing someone’s pain in one or more areas of business. Until the pain is highlighted and exposed, making a buying decision is really not a priority for a customer – It becomes a “nice to have”, while it should be “I must have”.

Grant’s insight into understanding and creating a strategy to expose pain was a real revelation to me. The way he thinks is just so not the norm. We all think of our product first, the market second and perhaps the problems our products solve third. But Grant says, do it the other way around.

First identify the problem you are going to solve, then think what you can do (package or bundle together) as a solution to “kill the pain” and right at the end of this think of how to make it into a product.

If you ask me, unless small business owners get the knack of addressing pain as opposed to simply developing products and services that fall in the “me too” or “nice to have” space, the wins will be limited – you will always live in a red ocean and you will always be “almost” successful.

By the way, you have to check out what Eugene says about leaving “Almost”.


Written by manaskumar

January 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

One Response

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  1. Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

    Dan Waldron

    January 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

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