Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, it is easy to get very wrapped up in our own perspective on technology…We tend to build things here that our engineering based culture finds cool. We love to build big complicated things, like data platforms, algorithms, virtual servers, clouds and electric cars. The problem is that if we want to build an industry-based solution, like VUE, we really have to look beyond the “Valley of Hearts Delight” and talk with our customers, most of whom do not live anywhere near our zip code.
It was this time last year that we went to eTail West. One of our main goals was to take an early prototype of Baynote VUE and gain customer feedback. We did quite a few demos at that conference in Palm Springs and gained a lot of valuable insight. We started to understand better how merchandisers really work, the way they wanted the various workflows in VUE to be adjusted to reflect what they do, the types of merchandising controls they need and how they wanted to manage them in the system. We directly surveyed customers to find out what they wanted from a reporting standpoint. I remember getting that survey back and the results were so consistent, we knew exactly what we had to build into VUE from a reporting standpoint. It was truly refreshing – to both Baynote and our customers – to have this type of dialogue and in the end, it has made for a product from which our customers will get significant value immediately.
There are a lot of interesting people in Silicon Valley, but most of them have talents far different from those found in New York City, Philly, Brooklyn, London, the American mid-west, Sydney or even Los Angeles. So, we plan to keep buying plane tickets, and meeting our customers wherever they are so that we can continuously offer the solutions they need to solve their problems, not ours.