Don’t listen to customers, ever, sort of

Having successfully created in 2005 a pretty good web framework to deliver high-performance web-strategies one of our recurring issues is managing the longer-term development including the roadmap. This is not about predicting the future, it’s about inventing the future.

We made the mistake in 2008 of asking our clients what they wanted and the outcome was a long, quite dull, list of me-too type functionality with a smattering of bells and whistles. As a result we probably lost a year of moving the game on. Shame, really. The good news is that we are back on track with VITES 3.0 due for pre-release in the summer. It will be slimmer, more focussed, better and easier to deploy.

Like Mark Cuban, we suffered the fairly common problem of listening too much to our customers. Whilst that would, on the face of it, seem to be a good thing it divides our effort between our vision and what clients (think they) want. By all means listen to what they want to do and come up with a solution.

That might sound arrogant but as Henry Ford once famously said “if I listened to my customers then I would have built a faster horse”.