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Do you see a disconnect in the feedback cycle between the product and the customer at your organization?

When you look at business application software, my sense of things from working with our product team is that they're too customer-driven in some ways, and it tends to be very reactive. Because when one of your big customers says, "I need this thing," you go build it. Pretty soon, you have this Frankenstein monster that wasn't designed holistically. It was built through a bunch of reactive changes. Major vendors like Oracle, SAP, etc., will tell you, "This is best practice and this is how it should be done." But I’ve realized that’s because their first customer asked for something a long time ago, they built it and that became best practice. They laid the foundations based on their early customers and then you can't really change it. When vendors say “best practice”, they don't mean that they tried 18 different things and determined that this is the best one. What they mean is, “This is the easy one to do in our system that was created based on what our biggest customers asked for, so that's what it is.”

Anonymous Author
When you look at business application software, my sense of things from working with our product team is that they're too customer-driven in some ways, and it tends to be very reactive. Because when one of your big customers says, "I need this thing," you go build it. Pretty soon, you have this Frankenstein monster that wasn't designed holistically. It was built through a bunch of reactive changes. Major vendors like Oracle, SAP, etc., will tell you, "This is best practice and this is how it should be done." But I’ve realized that’s because their first customer asked for something a long time ago, they built it and that became best practice. They laid the foundations based on their early customers and then you can't really change it. When vendors say “best practice”, they don't mean that they tried 18 different things and determined that this is the best one. What they mean is, “This is the easy one to do in our system that was created based on what our biggest customers asked for, so that's what it is.”
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Anonymous Author
Nobody's come up with the magic bullet yet, even though we now have easier implementation using SaaS. It's not like somebody is onsite configuring things and we've got hardware, etc., to deal with. But the ability to design and put a solution into place that everybody thinks is great—and exactly what they needed—has still escaped a lot of companies.
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Anonymous Author
In manufacturing absolutely there's a disconnect. In part this is why many manufacturers see direct to consumer business models as their future. The first step many take is using configurators. Apple and Nike did this very well. Take a set of standard piece parts and offer varying colors or style and personalize (e.g Apple airpods) or allow the customer to put them together the they wanted (Nike). Mass customization will be next. By creating a feedback loop manufacturers can bring the consumer into an early point of ideation, design or engineering and close the gap. In a non manufacturing environment e.g insurance or fintech companies are capturing chatbot sessions as the means to connect the dots between customer and product.
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