My Partner in crime – My Customers!

The fascinating thing about launching new services and products is the adrenalin rush we get when we see our tools being used — Seriously — as tech geeks, we _love_ the fact that our customers pay us money (well some of you at least) — but equivalently important is the fact that new concepts and ideas are used in the real world — not just in our heads. Fortunately for us, we are in a financial position now to try and develop new/bleeding-edge ideas without worrying too much about monetizing them.

As many of you who’ve been following the blog know — we’ve been harping about IdeaScale for some time now. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we feel really confident in the underlying conceptual model of crowdsourcing feedback now — If you are still on the fence about this model I would urge you to think again — Why? – Read on below…

One of our early adopters was John Thompson from Choice Hotels. They had some unique (well in hindsight not really that unique) requirement that ideas and topics get moderated — they get “approved” by the moderator(s) and then the ideas show up on the website. The good news about working with customers in solving these issues is that — usually someone else down the road has the same requirement. John was patient enough to give us some breathing room and time to develop his requirement. He even offered advice and worked with us as we talked through his requirements and needs and designed a solution.

I think this represents a shift in the traditional Vendor/Client relationship model — where clients usually think of vendors as their adversary rather than a partner. Generally there is a lot of mis-trust (at least at the enterprise level) between clients and vendors. Both of us understood where each of us were coming from, we had an idea of the challenges each of us face and respected each other’s position and basically relied on each other.

John went live with his IdeaScale portal yesterday — within 24 hours he had over 60 new ideas, 20 or so comments on his ideas and about 1500 votes on a various ideas and topics. Thats the power of IdeaScale. A great success — no doubt.

I remember when we started QuestionPro about 4 yrs ago, we worked with a few key clients in the exact same way as we are working on IdeaScale today. I am glad that a few of our customers are willing to try new tools and concepts and are thinking outside the box — along with being patient and understanding.

I know there are a lot of clients who would say — I wish QuestionPro did “X” — and “I can’t believe they don’t do “Y” — All I have to say is — most companies (including questionpro) have finite and limited resources. We are software developers — we can do _anything_ but we definitely cannot do _everything_!

Want to give IdeaScale a spin? – Goto http://www.ideascale.com

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