Living in Two Worlds

Sometimes I think I’m living in two worlds, the customer world, where everyone is scrambling to get stuff done, and the startup world, where everyone is talking about what the customer world should be like. 

Don’t misunderstand me, though. I love the startup world. There is an underlying current of optimism that I rarely see in the customer world, where people are just too busy to see the possibilities if they hit them in the nose. Sometimes I have to grab my customers and yell, “Let’s slow down for 5 minutes and think about a better way to do this!” 

In the startup world, it’s often too easy to lose sight of the definition of success. Success is not starting a business, getting into an incubator, or securing funding. Success is satisfying paying customers over and over again. 

In the past 6 months, I’ve had 5 different customers ask me for the same thing. I described my approach to satisfying them to a startup investor acquaintance. He told me that no one would ever pay for it. Now I know I’m on to something. 

I like living in 2 worlds. It helps me maintain perspective. Sounds like it works that way for you too.