You have 2 types of customers:
- External – the ones who pay you
- Internal – the ones you pay
Sometimes an external customer wants a feature. A button that does __. So you build it and blow that smoke off the barrel.
Other times an internal customer, a colleague, also wants a feature. And this is where many companies fall short.
The tools you build for the team help service the tools you build for everyone else.
In my former life I was working with a guy who insisted our engineers were too busy to build something I really wanted — a database query script that would auto-sort our users based on specific criteria.
I intended to use this information to attract new users, but evidently growth wasn’t a high priority. So I did the job manually and it was probably the worst part about Wednesdays for a few months.
Now that I’ve graduated to new ventures, I make certain to get what I want if I know it will help other people. Business is a hospital and if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.
There’s a third occasion where you should bite the bullet and build __ at so-and-so’s request anyway. If not for a better user experience, do it for morale.
Your business team may not have a microphone (code skillz), but they still want to be heard.
Listen to [all of] your customers.