Learn to ignore your customers

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Today’s #MillennialToWatch is Michelle Bacharach

Michelle Bacharach is a product & strategy expert and the CEO of FINDMINE. Her experience revolves around growing startups and large media companies by launching apps and websites to millions of people, putting together joint ventures, and conceiving of new businesses. She has an MBA from NYU Stern and a BA from UC Berkeley, where she wrote her honors thesis on managing innovation in multinational organizations. Michelle has also been at various points in her life both a professional actress and a competitive horseback rider.

Michelle shares…”Learn to ignore your customers”

“My first job out of college was as a customer experience analyst at an early stage startup. This meant mining through hundreds of customer support tickets and suggestions to identify themes, looking at Google Analytics data to determine how customers were using the service, and running a customer advisory team as a source for usability testing and gathering feedback on new products. There I learned not only the importance of listening to your customers, but also the importance of ignoring them. That was the greatest skill I could learn for success as a startup founder.

First, you must listen to your customers to know what they say they need. Then, look at the data to see if that’s what they really need. If not, ignore what they say they need (politely of course), because not doing so can make you lose focus and really derail your business. Your customers aren’t always right about what they need. But they ARE always right about how they use your product and how they feel when doing so. Build solutions to that. Bottom line is you should be in touch with your customers (especially the early ones) a LOT!” 

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Michelle would like to ask you…

“Given the choice to finance your startup through customer revenue (and grow more slowly) vs. raise venture capital and grow more quickly (but give up a meaningful amount of the company in the process), which would you choose and why?”

Let us know what you think by sending an email to jared@2billionunder20.com and we will send your answer back to Michelle.