One of the lessons in prioritizing feedbacks and customer research was in Season 3, episode 4 of popular TV series, The Wire, when Major Colvin was trying to drive down crime rate and drug-related shootings in Baltimore, so he announced an amnesty of sorts for drug pushers.
The terms would allow drug pushers to sell drugs without interference if they agreed to move to Vincent Street, far away from schools and residential areas.
But if they stayed where they were currently, the police would continue to harass, arrest and jail them.
He figured it’s a good deal, yeah? Drug dealers are always trying to evade the police, so they would love this new move that allows them to sell drugs without police interference, right? No feedbacks and no customer research’, but intuition.
After announcing the amnesty, the officers returned the next day to see that the drug pushers had not moved to Vincent Street. They had stayed put, at the risk of getting harassed, arrested, and jailed.
When one of the lieutenants asked why they refused to move despite the Major’s magnanimous move, one of the drug pushers, Fruit replied:
“Look, we grind, and y’all try to stop it. That’s how we do. Why you gotta go and fuck with the program?”
Turned out that maybe the main bosses would appreciate doing the drug business without police interference, but for the ones on street corners, getting heckled by the police, evading them, standing up to them, that’s how they earned their cred.
This for me is one of the lessons on prioritizing feedbacks and customer research.
Sometimes, we underestimate the value of simply asking people what their thoughts are about our ideas, our plans, and are views of a product or service and it shows in disconnected campaigns, choice of political intervention from political office holders, and in businesses trying to solve the wrong problems.
On Saturday, I asked my Facebook friends to help me choose between two names for a new business, and well, the name I preferred got a resounding loss. 🤦
Imagine if I had just gone ahead with that name without asking questions, the feedbacks about how it sounded like Marij*ana or the female reproductive organ would not have been received.
Feedbacks and research are important as they allow others to view your idea and business in a way you probably can’t because of your connection to the idea or business.
Social media polls, stories, posts, are some fast and easy ways to get instant feedback and a lot more people should start using them because they help you get clarity and make the best decision.
Have an amazing new week!