Engineer-Customer relationships

A while ago I wrote about the ways blogging might transform the relationship between people who design software products and their customers.

I mentioned how for many of us engineers, Doc Searls’ dictum that “markets are conversations” defines a form of marketing that we can actually understand. Wanting to give an example from my own experience, Burks Smith from Sprint popped into my mind. He's one the great customers who helped me imagine. And guess what? Just a few days later he was googling for an article about his son and came across my blog…

I also found the engineer-customer relationship rewarding, and was happy to have the ear of someone who could not only understand our problems, but could affect change. That mail product 15 years ago needed to get the address book right, and this is the foundation in all of today's Identity Management solutions. Thanks for listening.

Again Burks strikes a chord – he knew how to take advantage of the clarity of the unmediated relationship between himself and me as a designer, just as much as I did in the opposite direction. And through our interactions we were able to identify and get at the real underlying problems that hadn't even annunciated themselves in the top-down market yet.

By “top-down market” I mean the market as described by the conventional market machinery. Doc probably has better words for this stuff. But what do I think was happening? The conversation was way ahead of the top-down market.

With respect to the power of the Blog, I wouldn't have known about this posting if I hadn't been searching for an article about my son (III) in Google and accidentally came upon it.

Yes, I suppose that's a problem. But as imperfect as the longtail niche might be, Burks found out what I'm doing without my having to send him an “I'm blogging” spam! It's truly amazing how much more input the blog gives me for my thinking process, input that will continue to affect everything I do in the deepest possible ways. Thanks to everyone who writes to me.

Published by

Kim Cameron

Work on identity.