Today, I had a chat with an entrepreneurial friend who was getting frustrated at the rate he was losing customers because he was not able to meet demand.
Interestingly, his frustration was neither with himself nor how he was going to build capacity to meet demand. His frustration was with his customers, for being so impatient.
I understood his frustration, especially as his growth numbers were quite enviable. I had given thought to this challenge of demand and supply last year, and I think it is a good frustration to have.
As part of my input into improving his coping mechanism, I shared a thought from a book I once read.
Making a train journey 20 per cent faster might cost hundreds of millions, but making it 20 per cent more enjoyable may cost almost nothing.
The Uber map is a psychological moonshot because it does not reduce the waiting time for a taxi but simply makes waiting 90 per cent less frustrating.
It seems likely that the biggest progress in the next 50 years may come not from improvements in technology but in psychology and design thinking. Put simply, it’s easy to achieve massive improvements in perception at a fraction of the cost of equivalent improvements in reality.Alchemy, Rory Sutherland
Hairdressers understand this well. They offer music, visuals, and a healthy dose of small talk. It almost feels like you are visiting a friend, not necessarily waiting in line.
As capital is limited, we are now trying to figure out a way to make waiting pleasurable for some of his customers. I cannot wait to crack this.
I am thankful for books that add color to grey areas.