One of the things that sets us apart in the industry (especially in the Enterprise space) is that we use our own product to build our business.
I like to refer to it as "We use Tout to Tout Tout."
Back in the early days, it was rough. As I used our product to send out an email to a potential investor, or to a new customer, I'd encounter glaring bugs. It was painfull, but it forced each and every one of us to go through what our customers go through -- in fact, it made us customers (albeit empowered customers because we were able to address the problems that pained us the most).
Today, rarely do I end up wincing as I send an email with tracking, track the analytics around how our Happiness Officers are following up on customer demos, or even manage a Tout Group to say keep a list of people in our iPad beta.
Its actually a great feeling. But the process is the same. As I use it, I get closer to understanding the feature requests our customers ask for, the problems they are encountering, and as the head of product in the company, it really helps me hone in on what our product roadmap should be.
But more importantly than ever, I think its kind of cool that we can use our own product to grow our own company. Thats got to be one of the most rewarding things ever.
As I write this blog entry, I'm staring at my Live Email Feed and my Template Analytics, anxiously waiting for people to engage with an email I sent out to recruit testers for our upcoming iPad app (we think Mobile is going to be the most important play for us, way more than any other integration).
They say solving your own problems is the best way to build a great product and company. I agree.
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