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‘Make stuff that doesn’t suck’.

January 20, 2011

It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘tools’ for business.  Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogs and surveys.  They’re all fun.  They’re ‘shiny’. The tough part of starting or running a small business is to manage all of the day-t0-day operations, sell and market, pay the employees and clean the toilet. There’s so much to do, sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the most important part of your business.  Your product/service.

Fast Company featured an article about Jimmy Whales, founder of Wikipedia.  It was titled Wikipedia Founder’s Advice to Brands: “Make Stuff That Doesn’t Suck”. In it, Jimmy talks about how customers, now more than ever, have a platform and are eager to talk about products THAT SUCK.  When you start focusing on the tools and trying to  manage what people’s perception is about your product, you’ve lost control of the only thing you can control.  Your product/service.

I was reminded of this concept this week.  Our home warranty, by Home Warranty of America, took over 10 days to fix our heater during the coldest part of the winter.  Now, we didn’t freeze, we live in AZ, but the part that frustrated me the most was the fact that WE had to initiate the calls to find out what was happening, when the HVAC company was coming out, etc.  My husband received a call from HWA with a customer satisfaction survey.  He answered with less than satisfactory answers and provided his phone number for follow up.  To date, we have heard nothing.  The funny thing is, our warranty is coming up for renewal.  Do I want to renew with a company that ‘makes stuff that suck’?

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