who do you want your customers to become? // 18 Feb 2014

In addition to being good at other things, Stewart Butterfield writes good memo. His email to the @slackhq team is an instant add to the product management canon. Here’s the bit that stuck out for me:

A central thesis is that all products are asking things of their customers: to do things in a certain way, to think of themselves in a certain way — and usually that means changing what one does or how one does it; it often means changing how one thinks of oneself.

When you’re in the thick of validating your market and writing briefs and and working with engineers and designers and hitting your sprints, it’s hard to remember to be asking this question: Who do you want your customers to become? Can you imagine your customers as better people, thanks to your product? Is the work you’re doing right now helping those customers become better versions of themselves?