Hugo Barra on the value of talking to customers

Ben Thompson’s interview with Hugo Barra (only for paid members), the guy who heads the international expansion of Xaiomi, a fast growing tech start-up based in China:

HB: It’s been extraordinary. I think we’ve made a conscious decision of actually spending a lot of time with people, actually interacting with fans, on email, on social media, and live, and I think it’s something that people in industry should do more often because it’s astonishing how your perception of your target audience, how finely granular you can become when you spend time with them. Like the heating episode in India was particularly important because I never thought people would care as much as they do about a phone that heats up to 39 degrees (celsius) instead of 36, and I would have completely dismissed it if it wasn’t for the fact that I spent time with people face-to-face and listening to their complaints and why they cared so much about this stuff. So it’s been phenomenal that people have actually wanted to talk to us, have wanted to spend time with me, because it’s given me this opportunity to actually get a lot out of these conversations.

Focus on customers, talking to them, spending time with them. All are key essentials to innovation.


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