A great product is a problem heard and solved, followed by user feedback heard and integrated.
Journalists ask questions, and people answer them. This is how the business works, and how it’s always worked. But: Why?
Why do people tell us their stories
? Why do they let us into their lives, their businesses, their most sacred of spaces? Honestly, sometimes reporters are shocked by the access they get. When I was a community newspaper reporter, my least favorite part of the gig was covering breaking-news stories about people dying in accidents or crimes — and yet almost every time I called a newly grieving family member, they’d graciously answer my questions about the deceased.
And here’s why. Because people want to be heard. It’s gratifying — a confirmation that your ideas and thoughts and experiences matter, and are worth someone else’s time. In the right circumstance, it can be flattering, too. When people feel heard, they feel valued. They gravitate toward an open ear.
I was reminded of that when I called Dogfish Head Craft Brewery founder Sam Calagione to talk to him for this month’s magazine. I was originally interested in sales strategies. He’d tamped down sales of his most popular beer — frustrating fans, bar owners and retailers alike for years — because he thought it would be better for his company’s long-term growth. I was curious: How did he resist the urge to just give these people the beer they wanted? …..
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