How do you make your customers badass?

I don’t care about your product.

I mean, I’m sure it’s lovely, and I know your team worked really hard on it.  But frankly, I don’t care about your product.  I don’t care about the terrific features you’ve developed.  I don’t care that it has triple layer wotzercracker encryption.  I don’t care that it’s “Like Uber, but for people with ferrets”.

Here’s what I do care about.  What problem you are solving?  And who you are solving it for?

Because here’s the thing.  No matter how awesome your product is, your customer’s goal is never to be badass at your product.  They want to be great at something else that they actually care about (it’s not your product. Sorry).  Find out what it is and make your product help them do that.   (Check out Kathy Sierra’s talk to learn about more software badassery)

Here’s one way I like to think about this problem.

Your product should solve a problem that is both very important to your customers, and also very poorly satisfied with current solutions.   I like to think of products as falling into a 2 x 2 grid.

Not Important and Very Satisfied: If the problem you are solving falls here, you will be competing for customer’s attention with cat videos.  Seriously, there is nothing they need from you.  Please stop now, and find a real problem to solve.

Not Important and Unsatisfied: You will find that customers will respond with answers like:  “I might do that… someday.”  It might be a frustration for them, but they will have developed work-arounds that they can live with.

Important and Very Satisfied:  You will have a hard time convincing people to change their behavior from the status quo.  Their habits are already ingrained andthe opportunity cost of switching is high for what they will likely see as only a marginally better solution.

Important and Unsatisfied: Now you’re in business.  This is when customers say things like “Shut up and take my money”.  This is where you want to be.  It means  that you are solving a problem that they feel viscerally.

DropBox did this. They helped people be badass at just getting on with their jobs. Canva does this by helping people be badass at designing stuff.  Contactually does this by helping people be badass at managing relationships.

So here’s what I really want to know.  How does YOUR product make your customers badass?

Photo Credits:

Walter White: Cara Thayer and Louie Van Patten

Darth Vader:

To Do: