Walking around Blind

For me, one of the most difficult aspects of running a business is that you will never have good information to take decisions. You will walk around blind most of the time.

Of course, I keep track of many metrics, the obvious ones (new customers per day, monthly revenue) and the domain-specific ones (like diagnostic accuracy or repair success rates split by camera models).

But you only can track what users do, and the most important information is about what people doesn’t do and why, from people that will not even become users, or from users that give up because your product sucks. But at the end, there is no easy way for you to know why your product doesn’t get noticed or sucks.

Therefore, the information that you collect tends to be heavily biased towards confirming what you already know, rather than telling you what you ignore or what needs to be fixed.

One example: Localization
Our Repair Service is currently only available in English. In Aero Quartet we have also native French and Spanish people, so we would like to make the service available in those languages, and also in German (we’ll need to hire for that). Now I need to make numbers and figure out how much growth I can expect from localization in FR, ES and DE.

I know that exactly 7.4% of my customers are in french-speaking countries or regions. Easy.
But the really interesting figure is how many would-be customers are turned away because the service is not in French. And that figure is not something I can measure, because people searching for “réparer fichier XDCAM” will never find us or contact us in the first place.

Therefore, to take the right decisions, I will try to look at it from different perspectives, and take calculated risks, just like a blind person compensating with other senses.