Before Bill Gross founded Idealab, he started Knowledge Adventure, an early educational software company. In this clip, Gross shares how Knowledge Adventure discovered its major pivot through direct interaction with customers. In an effort initially meant to reach sales targets, employees served as a "weekend warriors" demonstrating products in retail outlets. This effort revealed the need to target their software products to specific ages, a key insight to the company's future success.
Customer feedback simply cannot be outsourced, according to serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. Here he shares an anecdote demonstrating the importance of founders speaking directly to customers. Blank recalls how entrepreneur Alan Michaels was forced to listen to customer needs and altered his product accordingly. These changes turned single-digit sales into the thousands, and resulted in an eventual $400 million company sale.
Stick to a vision and the company shall succeed, advises Amazon Senior VP Diego Piacentini. For Amazon this means adhering to founder Jeff Bezos' original vision: Build a site where users can find anything they want to buy at the lowest price. To achieve this vision, Piacentini highlights Amazon's dedication to building all code in-house, and safety measures to validate customer purchases.