Deploy Empathy recently passed 500 copies sold
, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has been a part of this and helped make that happen.
When I started this
, I had no idea if there was an appetite for this kind of work. I was originally writing for developer founders and makers, and while the success of Rob Fitzpatrick’s The Mom Test
showed that people are willing to talk to customers prior to launching, it was unproven whether developers, makers, and other founders wanted to do the work of talking to them after launch.
(I’ve since learned that the audience goes far beyond that group, much to my delighted surprise.)
I’ve been thinking about why that milestone meant so much to me, and I think it’s because it means the idea of the book resonates beyond this little community we’ve built here.
There are still many corners of the business world — one might argue, the main floor rather than the corners — that think that ideas can only come from inside the building and that customer research is, quite frankly, a waste of time. I’ve had people say that to my face, and many other UX researchers and product managers have had that said to them, too.
In the beginning, I thought people were only interested in this project because I’d so passionately described on Software Social about how much interviewing customers has changed the trajectory of Geocodio. (Or because they were friends and just being nice.) Once I started to believe this could be a book, I told myself that maybe a quarter or half of the people on the newsletter would buy a copy — 100, 200 copies lifetime maybe — and that would be it.
Yet 500 copies in the first two months is far more than the number of people reading this newsletter. That means people have been recommending it to others who have zero connection to me, people who have never heard me sing rhapsodically about the benefits of talking to customers. People want to do this work. People want to understand their customers. People are experiencing that transition themselves from interviewing customers seeming scary and threatening to being exciting and illuminating.
It feels like validation for the concept of customer research, and that feels amazing.
So thank you for being part of this movement, of changing the way people think about the role of customers in their businesses. I can’t wait to see where this takes all of us.