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Empathy Is The Killer App

One of the reasons that upstart companies like GoPro have been able to steel a march on their much better resourced competitors like Sony, has been their ability and efforts to develop products for their customers by truly understanding who those customers are and what they want.

It’s not possible to create products, services or innovations that fly without understanding people first. Google can leverage access to all the money, data and expertise in the world, but the company has struggled to make Google Glass resonate because of lack of empathy, according to one of the product’s first evangelists Robert Scoble, who recently stopped wearing his because of how Glass wearers are perceived. Now ironically, one of Google’s biggest challenges is teaching Glass users how to be empathetic while they are wearing it.

It turns out that there really is no substitute for standing in your customer’s shoes. You can have the best product in the world, but if people don’t buy into the story you’ve got a uphill struggle on your hands.

Image by Erica Joy.

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