Friday, September 18, 2015

#Startup: Customer is the moon, You are the finger.

While consulting, I ask founders to describe their business.  Most people start talking about what they offer.  The talk about their challenges, and how they are making it.  I found one founder, a prospect of mine - who started talking about 'its all about constantly focusing on satisfying my customer.  I know that I have to focus on the customer, the customer and the customer.   Internal structures are important, but when you bring the customer to the front, and keep your eyes on the customer, it makes a big difference in your thinking and outlook.   You will see that you are bent on increasing the value or solving a problem for your customer and all actions, resources, time and focus are going to meet the expectations of your customers. 

Everything else is a distraction.  In Mahabharata, there are lot of warriors with exemplary skills - in archery, wrestling and other forms of combat.   However, Arjuna is revered, among his other qualities, his ability to focus on the target.  When all his peers could see the surroundings, the bow, the arrow and the Guru,  Arjuna saw only the parrot's eye - the target, and he scored a flawless hit.
Bruce Lee, is another champion, who espoused and lived up to this principle.  In a video grab ( refer above picture), he is seen advising his student - 'It is like the finger pointing to the moon.  Don't concentrate on the finger, for you will miss all the heavenly glory'.

Both Arjuna and Bruce Lee bring home this truth - you are in business because of your customer.  Know your customer, walk miles in his/her shoes.  That will enable you to realize his/her challenges and then you will be able find and act on solutions - that actually matter.  But more than, that the entire focus on your business - sales, delivery, after-sales should be focused outward.  Remember, customer is the moon and you are the finger.  Don't focus on the finger, but on the moon.   


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