Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Lean Brand Experience

During the technology boom in the late 1990’s, everyone was talking about their next big idea. It was all about you, you, you. No one was talking about the customer. They thought that because they were so brilliant, everyone would want to look at what they built. They were wrong.

Now we have Craigslist, the 7th most popular website in the world. Craigslist says that they don’t have advertisements because the user hasn’t asked for them. That’s right. Craigslist has passed up billions of dollars simply because they believe what the users want, the users get. No more, no less.

CEO Jim Buckmaster says, “The revenue aspect is really an afterthought. If I look across the Internet at the big Internet companies, there’s a large proportion of their staff that are devoted in various ways to trying to maximize revenue. Those employees I don’t think are delivering much bang for the buck to the end user.”

Craigslist is a minimalist site, with just rows of text. It is a site where people can post housing for rent, jobs, yard sales, activities, and personal ads. The postings are endless and now over 300 cities are listed. They have 20 employees. What if…this type of leanness were applied to your company and its sales force to create a better experience for your employees and your customers.

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