Grant explains that the best companies today don’t just have a hunch as to what might work, rather by ‘hacking’ into the data they have available, they are able to understand what their customers like…
Did you know, I’ve helped hundreds of people become hackers and not one of them has been caught?
That’s because when I talk about hacking I don’t mean breaking into the FBI’s computers, but rather the mindset needed in order to be successful.
Years ago, companies really sat on structured data, that was; data they collected deliberately, like customers’ names and addresses, stock, orders… and it really didn’t tell you much about customers’ likes and dislikes.
Today, however, we have lots of unstructured data, that is; things like photos that people take online, social media posts, or the clicks that people make on your website and pages that they view. These indicate things that a customer’s interested in and likes.
The best companies today don’t just have a hunch as to what might work and launch it and then receive terrible failures. Instead, what they do, is they use this unstructured data to understand what their customers like and dislike, and try and give them more of the things they really seem to love.
For example, it’s unlikely you would have heard of ‘Burbn’, which was a location based network. However, the owners found that a lot of their customers were not using the location based facilities, but rather just relying on the photos and filters. They, therefore, did away with the things the customers didn’t seem to like and gave them more of the photos and filters that they did.
They rebranded this network ‘Instagram’ and of course the rest is history.
Another example would be ‘Airbnb’. It started off as just allowing someone to crash on a mattress in someone’s living room. Very quickly the data indicated there was something bigger at play here.
There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English