Every morning before coming to work, I make myself a Latte with my little Krupp® espresso machine. I don't make great Lattes but they are pretty good and have lots of caffeine. Often, after being in the office for an hour or two, I'll run to the local Starbucks® or the espresso shop in a Thriftway® grocery store nearby, for a second dose of caffeine.
I'm not an expert latte maker, but I have been making them for quite a while and I am an avid drinker of lattes. When I buy a commercial latte, I consider my own Lattes and I think about how close the shop I'm at comes to the taste and experience of my own product. When I make my own, I consider the same - I think about what the consumer (me, in this case) wants and I do my best to deliver that to myself.
This morning, as I walked in to the office with my home-made latte in hand, I discovered a Starbucks latte on my desk; a gift from a generous co-worker. When I opened up my email client, I also found a couple of comments from blog readers. I consider that to be a gift from generous customers (or potential customers).
We've been growing pretty fast here and over the last couple of months have been working real hard at keeping our quality and service up to your standards. We have company meetings, Lean events, put out mission statements and do all that rather glurgey stuff companies do.
I know that stuff is really important and it does produce results, but what makes me really happy to come into work at this place every day is one little questions that I regularly hear around here: "what would a customer think about that?"
In some companies, the glurge is more about be about making the company feel better about itself than it is about delivering a better product/service to the customer. From the inside, it's frequently difficult to say which is the case, but, that one question: "what would a customer think?" tells me that this group of people at Screaming Circuits really understands that the only reason we are here is because we have given customers good value. The only reason we will continue to be here is if we keep giving customers (you folks) good value and keep increasing the value we give you.
"What would a customer think about that?" Think about it.