Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Sam Walton Than Bill Gates

My startup is a tech startup, sure. But it is first and foremost a high touch startup. Face time is key to my operations to be.

I keep thinking in terms of companies like Zappos. Zappos sells phone calls, not shoes. Customer service is key to how Zappos rolls. I also end up thinking about the offline components of companies like GroupOn.

Walmart early on became a major user of computer technology. Walmart collects so much data. Every transaction is valuable data. And you can only hope to make meaningful sense of all that data if you employ computers. So that's there.

But in microfinance, you can do all the tech trick in the parlor, but it still boils down to face time. The most precious time you will spend with your customers will be in person. Technology helps, but technology can't be front and center, that space is reserved for flesh and blood people.

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