I always get motivated by numbers. Maybe it’s because I’m a numbers guy. Maybe it’s because I get motivated by the possibilities. Here are some numbers I recently came across that I find extremely motivating.
In 2007 Twitter had 5000 Tweets a day
In 2008 Twitter had 300,000 Tweets a day
In 2009 Twitter had 2,500,000 Tweets a day
In 2010 Twitter is now doing 50,000,000 Tweets a day
I go those numbers from the http://blog.twitter.com/2010/02/measuring-tweets.html
Do you realize how amazing that is? If that doesn’t get you motivated nothing will. Great ideas that are well executed have the potential to be bigger than ever. Our parents and grandparents never had opportunity to way we do. What are you going to do with that opportunity?
I was watching Jason Fried’s talk at Web Expo 2.0 in 2008. At the 6:50 mark he discusses a very important topic that few people (in my experience) touch on. Here are the key points…
“Listen to your customers but Innovate on behalf of your Entire Customer Base”
“Certain customers will be vocal and as time goes on they will be more and more vocal”
“Be very careful at agreeing to everything the vocal minority says”
“Customers know a lot about what they want but don’t know what’s best for your actual product”
“You aren’t building for an individual you are building for a group”
“If you listen to just a few people you are going to have a problem”
“If you add everything that everyone wants you are going to have a problem”
I’ve experienced everything Jason discusses first hand. Customers always feel their wants, likes and dislikes represent everyone’s feelings. In many instances customers don’t actually know what they want. MySpace customers WANTED freedom to customize their myspace pages. Facebook came along and took that freedom away. What happened? Users switched from Myspace to Facebook. Why? Because in theory customizing your own profile page was great. In reality it was an absolute nightmare.
I believe this is often the difference between a successful website and an unsuccessful one. As a website owner you have to understand your customers’ needs but you also have to know what’s best for them and the site. It isn’t easy and takes a lot of trial and error (and analytics studying).
Here are a few things I’ve learned…
You will never be able to please 100% of the people 100% of the time
1 to 5% of people are unhappy no matter what you do. They are impossible to please and their only happiness in life comes from complaining.
A very small percentage <3% of your overall user base actually provide feedback
That small percentage is usually made up of your two extremes followers. Those that LOVE your product and those that HATE your product
There is a group of customers that provide feedback that represent a large majority of your user base. Identifying them is key. They’ll help you keep your finger on the pulse of your product.
Many customers will act as if they know better than you. If they knew better they’d be in your position. Remember That!
I wrote this as a reminder to myself. It’s very easy to forget the points discussed and as soon as you do you’ll find yourself heading down the wrong path.
I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this.
Here is a link to the Jason Fried Video
Once in a while I come across a gem. I like to do my best to spread the word so these gems get a chance to really explode as a company and enjoy the great success they deserve. Not to mention I want them to stay in business so I can continue to using them.
A few years ago I was planning a trip to New York City for my wife and I. I was looking for a high end (4 or 5 star) hotel. I usually would book directly from the hotel website or use expedia. The prices I was getting quoted were insane. So I decided to head to google. The first paid sponsor link was http://www.newyorkcityluxuryhotels.com. I rarely click a paid sponsor link but for some reason this time I did. When I got to the site they had some great hotels but no prices. You had to call to get a quote. To this day I have no idea why I called but I’m extremely happy that I did. When I called I was given a quote that was almost 50% off the lowest price I had found online and that was for a 5 star hotel. I booked it hoping it was for real. I couldn’t believe my luck. Sure enough it was for real and I’ve been using that company “Magellan Vacations” ever since.
<strong>What is Magellan Vacations?</strong>
My understanding is they book hotel rooms in the best hotels in major cities and book in such bulk they are able to offer the rooms at INSANE prices. I’ve been using them for 2 years now and not once have I ever found a lower price than what they offer. It’s not always 50% lower but it is ALWAYS lower than the best price you’ll find online.
There is no membership. No bs. Use them as you need them. They offer hotel rooms in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco and Chicago. Usually they only have really high end hotels.
I can’t say enough about Magellan. I tell all my friends about them. You can call them anytime and they’ll hook you up. I missed a connecting flight in NYC once and was stranded there for the evening. It was 11pm. I called Magellan and explained my situation to the agent. He asked me if I wanted the same hotel, same price as my last trip. I replied yes. Same credit card? Yes. DONE! The call was less than 90 seconds long and I was checked in and ready to go. Not only did they bail me out of a jam they saved me on cell phone roaming charges.
I have nothing to do with the company. They are just the best hotel service I’ve ever come across and I hope someone reading this can enjoy the same fantastic experience I’ve had with them as well.
You can check them out at http://www.magellanvacations.com