Think Like A Customer
Think Like A Customer

Think Like A Customer

Quick Summary

I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.—Ender Wiggins, Ender’s Game

One of the biggest challenges Mental Model members bring up is information overwhelm. There are so many things that you could learn as an entrepreneur or professional. How do you choose? For me, this cartoon summarizes it:


For example, I went to NYU Business School, where I spent a lot of time and money studying business through a variety of lenses and disciplines. It’s an extremely complex subject: how to run a business. Strangely, in all this complexity, there is almost no conversation about how to understand your customer. And as a result, my early years as an entrepreneur were extremely difficult.

Our current academic and scientific mindset actually prevents people from developing their muscles around thinking like a customer. Paradoxically, a lot of brilliant people study business and entrepreneurship objectively. When you’re objective, it doesn’t cross your mind to think subjectively and try to empathize with other people. It's a big blind spot in our education.

Sometimes, it’s easy for the simplest ideas to get lost in complexity. One of my favorite quotes from Charlie Munger is to “take simple ideas seriously.”

“Think like a customer” is a simple idea/skill. It’s also the key skill you need in order to go get customers.

If you look at all the aspects and disciplines involved in leading a business, you can narrow them down to product and marketing.


But in order to create a product people want and market it in a way people understand, you first have to understand the customer.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.―Peter Drucker

This is the 80/20 of business...

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