Aliens as Customers


Imagine you had aliens as customers. From my experience, this is much better than assuming we know them well and completely understand what would best serve them. If they are alien to you:

  • How would you discover their pain-points or problems to solve?
  • How would you validate you got the solutions right?
  • Even if they weren’t aliens but humans…
  • That like to dress as furries
  • or as fairies.
  • Do you speak their seemingly alien language?
  • Do you understand their culture?
  • Can you relate to their interests?
  • Do you know how to approach them?
  • So, how would you determine their needs?
  • And how would you validate you got it right?

Start Small and Iterate build-measure-learn

Get to MVP quickly. Validate by testing variants. Use small steps to continuously innovate and iterate to keeping up with an ever transforming market. Leverage new technology enabled by Digital Transformation while not forgetting ongoing Human Transformation.

It helps to start with hypotheses on expected impact and doing A/B or multi-variant testing a la The Lean Startup.
Agile development helps getting incremental changes out quickly. It also reduces the cost of a failed hypothesis by minimizing investment before testing a hypothesis on customers.

Other things we’ve done to understand the aliens as customers in various companies include:

  • Going out and talking to them with mock-ups on an iPad,
  • Having all employees regularly listen in on support calls to hear customers pain points, and
  • Having support chose insightful recordings of customer interactions to discuss how customers struggled with using or understanding the product/solution.

The Digital Transformation continuously offers technologies and processes to address problems while also changing customer expectations of what works best for them. At the same time, the customers themselves are also beginning to change at an ever-increasing rate. In an ever-changing world, Human Transformation is not only likely but necessary. If you stand still with the solutions you offer and how you offer them, the odds of you business becoming obsolete continues to increase.

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