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Why Jeff Bezos Thinks Your Business Would Benefit From Shared Customers Knowledge

Would you care to come on a little thought experiment with us? It’s just a question, nothing fancy. If you had the option of having your own private doctor, who had no other patients aside from you, would you choose it?

The first thing that comes to mind is probably “well, sure! I would never have to make an appointment or wait for them to see me ever again!” – and that’s a fair point. But just let it sink in: this person only ever saw you, learned from you, just one person. What if you catch something for the first time? That would mean it would be extremely hard for your doctor to diagnose and heal you – he would have no experience of it!

SHARED IMPROVEMENTS

Just as you wouldn’t choose to be your doctor’s only patient, why would you work with only one editor instead of taking advantage of a team who are constantly learning from all their clients? This is what we call “shared customer improvements”. The basic idea behind it is taking whatever lessons we learn from each of our clients and applying them to other clients who might benefit from it. This way, we don’t wait for issues to come up for each creator, we’re ready to avoid them altogether and everybody benefits from each others’ experiences.

As Jeff Bezos says, “if you’re the only customer on the software system, you’re the only one driving it forward. If thousands of customers share that system, then the other 999 that are not you are also driving it forward and you get that as a tailwind.”

Note: the shared knowledge refers to what works as a system for each creator, never their content or data of any kind. We are fiercely protective of the confidentiality and uniqueness of each of the creators we work with. What we want to share are editing methods and systems that can be used for recurring cases, not specific or individual information (e.g. specific checklists, project sharing procedures, training the creator mindset, etc.).

SO HOW DOES IT WORK?

Let’s take an example to better illustrate this process.

An editing company has 10 different clients. They have a basic, standard system to edit videos for all of those clients. One of the rules in this system is that every video is edited by only one editor. As time goes by, they realize that for one of their clients, having only one editor on each video is not the most effective tactic, since they mostly run out of time or come up short on their creativity. So they decide to try having two editors work on each video, sharing the workload. This new strategy works wonders: they never miss a deadline and no one feels stretched too thin.

Now they look at the rest of their clients and find that, although it wasn’t as obvious, four of them could also benefit from using this method, so that’s what they do. The service quality for those other 4 creators has automatically gone up, only because they scaled up an individual measure. This is the true value of the shared customer improvement philosophy.

Another example could be the use of a standard checklist to review videos, no matter the client. If the company chooses to learn from each of their clients and apply that knowledge, that checklist will continuously grow and expand from the experience of reviewing each client.

Why do we use it?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Where does it come from?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.