Have you ever looked for a succint, catchy way to explain why we need user experience. Why folks who know like talking to users need to be part of the software development process? Do you need video evidence? Well, Marc Andreessen is glad to help you out. While talking with Jonathan Schwartz about Ning, his new startup he says: (~ 6.56 min):
“Ideally we’ll never meet any of our customers. We actually had to take the sign down from our front door because one of our customers actually stopped in, uninvited, and said, ‘Hi, I love your service.’ And we’re like, ‘why are you here?’ And so down came the sign.
“Drop-bys like that should only happen in sitcoms as far as I’m concerned… The consumer internet businesses in a sense are ideal businesses from the standpoint of never meeting your customers… If you do it right, you will never meet any of your customers!”
I have never heard the engineering attitude towards users so well articulated and captured on video. I am so going to use this for my talks. Thanks Marc Andreessen, you just made my day!
On a side note, some Ning users decided to visit Ning just to annoy Marc. They used Ning itself to organize this, and are supposed to be visiting today.
Note to Marc: There is no escaping users. Maybe you need to hire a person or two who are more comfortable with drop-bys!