Seth has written a great piece on the differences between what is “very good service” organizations provide to consumers versus to other businesses.
I’d like to add another twist to this.
Behind every big and successful consumer offering is an organization. And organizations (in the broadest sense, would it be a multinational corporation or a subteam inside a startup), while working towards delighting the consumer, have to interact with other organizations in the process.
Thus, people working on a consumer-facing product have to be equally good at both of the games Seth differentiates:
when we design products for end users (consumers) we need to aim for “surprise, fashion, edginess
while when dealing with organizations
- internally (budgeting and finance, top management; relationships with business development, marketing, engineering, operations, customer support) and
- externally (strategic investors (if you have any), partners, suppliers)
we need to be on time, in budget, predictable, not having anyone to loose sleep, having hard reality checks rather earlier than later
These cultures can be quite contradictory at times. So in a way, pure B2B service providers have it easy?