Your customers are the “job creators”

After almost 35 years in the business world, I have never understood the current idea floating around that tax breaks to businesses and wealthy individuals will somehow create jobs.  This idea comes from Ronald Reagan, I believe, and the phrase he coined “Trickle Down Economics“.  (Well, actually, the original phrase comes from Will Rogers, but everyone I know associates it with “Reaganomics”.)  In every business I’ve been involved with, the only thing that results in more investment & hiring is the idea of more customers.  The owner of the company is not the original creator of jobs any more than the hiring manager who writes the job description.  The customers are the job creators.  The effect of this on a larger scale is explained beautifully in this TED talk by Nick Hanauer:

In my post “Nature vs. Nurture“, as well as others, I talk about the critical importance of customers in the success of a business.  What I was pointing out in any singular business, Nick is explaining in general.  Customers are what make a business successful, what make you hire more employees and build more infrastructure.  Don’t let anyone, or anything cloud your view from this fact.  I know your ideas are great, your products are clever and your supply chain is superb.  That is all very helpful, but none of it is more important than customers.  Customers are the business world’s equivalent of love–they make the world go ’round!

Get into the habit of regularly asking yourself “When was the last time I got customer feedback?”  If you don’t have a product yet, when was the last time you did a potential customer interview?  If you’ve gotten feedback recently, rethink what they said.  Are you still on a path to making something that solves a problem of theirs?  Or have you veered off into making something else that you think would be “very cool”?  That’s not to say very cool isn’t, well, very cool, but if you cannot identify at least one specific problem your product or idea solves, you need to pause & think about what you’re spending your time & resources on.  If you have not gotten feedback recently, rethink your business plan–your focus is on the wrong thing!  You can still save it, though.  Just get out there in the field and don’t come back until you have found a problem your tech can solve.

As always, if you have experience in this area, please share it in the comments section.  We can all do better & can all learn from others.  Thanks!


  1. […] rich, but it would cover a very basic apartment, food, health care, etc.  In a way, it ties into Nick Hanauer’s TED talk about how to further stimulate the economy.  It is an idea that would both satisfy progressives, […]

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