“How do product teams really know the right thing to build? Many products aren’t successful because teams haven’t done enough problem discovery and validation with customers. Those processes need to be a part of a product team’s culture.”

That’s my friend Jim Semick, founder of ProductPlan. He’s right, of course. How many customers do you talk to monthly? How many would you talk to in an ideal world? At ATG, I was on the phone or visiting customers weekly. I once visited a well-known shoe brand’s offices for a week with my 7-member team. At NetProspex, getting customers on the phone was a lot harder but we mined our customer data for power users, made a list, and dedicated time to it.

A question to the group: How do you convince customers to chat with you when everyone is so busy? Tech support? Beer? Tell me a story.

Jobs
My friend Sophie Hill, CEO of social commerce scale-up Threads in London, is looking for a VP of Product to collaborate with their tech, personal shopper, and marketing teams to create the best luxury shopping experience in the world. Ping me for the inside scoop.