The Value of Learning to Talk with your Users as a Product Manager
I remember the follow me homes and the empathy for the customer which also included creating various customer personas that we gave names to and had images for. The enabled us to better imagine how to build the best products for them. I also remember the notion of "riding the train" where every morning folks were encouraged to dial an extension (yes, in the days of desk phones) and you'd get dropped in as a listener to whatever next support call came in from a customer. I learned so much about how to appreciate how different customers were from me in how they'd use the product, what was and wasn't intuitive to them etc. I've implemented similar things at companies after Intuit. At Prosper, we also had support 5 calls every month (sometimes in specified areas, that we could then listen to and discuss as a team as to how the cal was handled and what aspects of the product people struggled with. It's all too easy to forget that our customers are quite different from us and yet our products may be critical to their lives.