What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.
—Winston Churchill, 1908
btw, “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give”, as inspiring a quote as it is, wasn’t spoken by Churchill. In any case, the above quote is significantly more poetic.
When I first heard someone say they were in “customer success” I almost laughed out loud. I mean, isn’t this the whole point of why we start businesses?
Except that as an ex-pat Aussie in Silicon Valley—an outsider if you will—a lot of American corporations don’t appear run that way. In fact, quite the opposite. To me it looks like corporations view customers as nothing more than entities from which they extract cash. Somewhat like humans are to the machines in The Matrix …
Through that prism Customer Success looks like a seriously radical idea.
Helping customers achieve their objectives by using your product or service shouldn’t be new or innovative. Caring about the interplay between company, product and customer shouldn’t be viewed as a cost of doing business. Having a customer so delighted that they want to buy more of your stuff need not be hard work. Unremarkably, for companies embracing “customer success” it isn’t.
That Customer Success is now a bone fide career is the most exciting thing I’ve heard in a while. It’s a genuine revolution for customers and companies alike. I’ll have more thoughts on customer success in the weeks ahead.
DFJ Operating Partner Heidi Roizen’s recent post How to Build a Unicorn From Scratch – and Walk Away with Nothing tells the tale of an entrepreneur (Richard from startup Pied Piper) who didn’t negotiate venture terms and ultimately paid the price, if you’ll excuse the pun. It’s a fun read.
What’s missing in the story is whether our protagonist had the leverage to negotiate the terms in question (seems he may have), especially when they’re “non-negotiable” … Entrepreneurs can expect to hear those words a lot more often.
I previously sat on the Executive Committee of a non-profit education institute in Australia, where I also worked as a lecturer, marketer and events manager. Feeling maxed most of the time I was looking at transitioning into “business development”. So I pitched the idea to the Chairman.
You can work business development when we have a business to develop!
The lesson was one of first principles, applicable to any business. Do with it what you will.
Three years of college economics and/or an MBA crammed into 30 minutes, for the cost of your time and attention.
You might also find Ray Dalio’s Principles an interesting read. At 123 pages you may need a little more time.