A blog by the Delighted team
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    The team is the product

    Every product is a reflection of the team behind it. Just as user interfaces are the conduit between humans and the functionality of products, products are the conduit between customers and the team of people solving a particular problem.

    There are no good or bad products, only good or bad teams making products. The product is an extension of the team. Each delightful detail or frustrating interaction is the direct result of decisions made by the team.

    Care

    Truly great products and experiences come from people who care. It’s that simple.

    When people don’t care, it’s evident. Products are confused and lack a point of view. Customer service representatives are more interested in going home than helping you. Good enough, becomes good enough.

    The right way

    There’s no shortage of advice on how to build a company. With so many pitfalls and challenges, it’s tempting to seek out the “right” way. When advice comes from someone with some form of success, it’s easy to assume their advice must be right.

    The truth is, good advice can be the wrong advice for your company. More specifically, the right way depends entirely on the type of company you are building.

    Simple

    There’s a little sandwich shop in Palo Alto, CA called Simply Sandwiches. We like their sandwiches and what they stand for.

    The shop is postage stamp tiny and is run by a husband and wife. They’re open four hours a day, Monday through Friday. They’re closed weekends. They do one thing – sell sandwiches at lunch time.

    Low-hanging fruit

    Low-hanging fruit is a phrase tossed around in meetings when someone wants to do something they believe to be obviously high leverage.

    The problem is, the use of this phrase is an insidious method of concealing two critical assumptions: that the best solution to the problem is obvious, and that it will be quick to implement. Neither of which are necessarily true. It’s a trick. A trick that not-so-subtly disrespects the process of building something great.

    Pursue perfection

    “Perfect is the enemy of the good.”

    — Voltaire

    It has become fashionable to deem perfection a dirty word. The argument goes, if you strive for perfection you’ll never ship anything. But like all platitudes, the truth is much more nuanced.

    Bloat

    We’ve all heard the advice to simplify, simplify, simplify. Yet, many products are bloated and confused. Why does this happen? What’s the disconnect between the stated goal of a streamlined product and the reality of overstuffing it?

    In a word, fear. The team is afraid of what might happen if they don’t offer X or Y. This leads to rationalizing the bloat.

    Brick walls

    “The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

    — Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

    When creating a product, you’ll likely encounter obstacles that require an extraordinary amount of time, energy, or tenacity to overcome. When you truly understand the problem and know the game you’re playing, these can be opportunities in disguise.

    The compromise trap

    Compromise is a widely used method of reaching consensus around two differing viewpoints. But in a design process, compromise between stakeholders when defining intentions almost always results in a suboptimal user experience.

    Playing tug-of-war with design intentions will ultimately result in solutions that are neither here nor there. Splitting the difference is a trap.

    Understand the problem

    Design is about solving problems. And great design solves problems elegantly – utilizing as few, highly leveraged elements as possible.

    The catch is, for everything you keep, there are far more things you must give up. You can’t have it all. Trade offs must be made, and embedded in each is a choice. A choice about something being more important than something else. So, how do you know what’s important and what isn’t?

    Start with values

    Enduring companies are capable of adapting to a changing external environment. We believe this capacity, to excel through continuous change, is rooted in a deep base of shared values.

    Many interesting companies come and go either because the market opportunity evaporated, the team dynamic broke down, or the technology matured into a commodity.

    Play your own game

    It’s commonplace for companies to use sports strategy and metaphor when discussing competitors. Some think of competitors in the gladiatorial sense – an opponent they must destroy in order to win the customer. Such zero-sum thinking is common. Competition in sports is well understood – someone wins and someone loses. It’s simple and satisfying.

    Introducing Delighted

    Every customer has a unique experience, but only a small fraction of those stories have the chance to be shared, and fewer still are heard. We want to change that.

    Delighted is a new company that helps businesses connect with their customers – to learn, improve, and delight. We know the profound effects of asking customers to share their experiences, their frustrations, and their wishes. We are building thoughtful tools to help businesses get closer to their customers.