Posts Tagged 'success'

When the light bulb went on

I had completely missed the implication of the second half of the statement, when Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, until it struck me today. He had not done random experiments, he had done controlled and well-thought out experiments and figured out what works and what does not. That is the genius!

Many of us try mindlessly several times to do things, invest our time on building markets, converting customers, but doing it in a scientific manner, where even the fact that you failed adds to your knowledge and improves your chances of success is more important. Being flexible and open to the fact that your method or business model or idea is not perfect and that one needs to figure out a way of making it happen step by step thought out manner is a very interesting observation in entrepreneurship.

What do you think? Are we at least partially scientific in the way we try to get through our lives, in relationships that don’t work, with colleagues/bosses who we don’t get through to, with customers who don’t respond and new products that we try to launch in markets unexplored? How can we do better?

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Delighting your customer

I’ve to acknowledge that in this world of “heavy” sales pitch and large budget marketing, we fail to notice people who provide us service quietly, efficiently and go out of their way to do a good job, yet don’t make a big fuss about it. We give these people repeat business because they are good at their work, but they don’t get written about or awarded or given accolades for helping make people like do better. I want to talk about a printer guy that I’ve been working, who has done an excellent job of delighting us. (I’ve to mention he is tardy and never keeps time, but this post is not about that!)

We are a startup and I don’t end up giving him large quantity orders. Orders range from 500-1500 pieces for print and at these quantities most (offset) printers refused to give me good rates. He on the other hand, the first time I worked with him, took up the job gladly, did it in reasonably good time and offered me a very good price for the order. The second time I worked with him, he gave me a substantial discount on a price that we had agreed upon (which was already a good price as per the market) and he did it again the third time round! I was surprised when I saw the bill.

I never had the time to thank him for this gesture and he never made a hue and cry about it either. I finally did it today and I’m giving him repeat business for sure. But, more importantly, I learnt a thing about “delighting one’s customer” without making a big fuss about it from him today. If you are good and you are giving your customers something of value, they will realize it without you having to do “heavy-duty” pitching.

This lesson is even more important because he doesn’t speak English or Hindi that well at all, at least not well enough to have a “misunderstanding-free” conversation and so much for the importance of learning “English” that we place in India. Anyway, I’m tending to believe more and more that in life it is really important to do one or two things really well and just get the rest of the things “right” enough, that defines success more than well-roundedness! What say guys?


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