Let’s say you have two groups of people that are involved with your company. The first group is dedicated to your products religiously. So dedicated in fact you barely need to market them. These customers, or fans, wait for you to come out with what’s next. Almost like mind numbed robots they wait for you to tell them what they need. They may even line up around the corners on the day your new product is released. And when they finally get their hands on it they can’t say a bad word. As a company this is a great position to be in, correct? I mean who wouldn’t want that. I know I would as a business owner.
Then let’s say there is this second group of people. They don’t talk publically. They use homemade products the first group has never heard of. They are extremely intelligent but don’t feel the need to show off. They just quietly work behind the scenes trying to find holes and risks in your company’s products.
The problem with this is your company will be so focused on making their fans happy you will fail to focus on the risks associated with what your company is producing. As a result of this the risks to your users will actually increase.
Once upon a time your products may have been more secure, more solid. But in order to increase your brands popularity you had to remove some of those safety nets. Maybe changed a few core values.
What also will add to your problem is the raving fans are so loyal they will refuse to be critical of your products, but only at first. Eventually if you don’t address what the second group is doing, at risk of upsetting the first group, there won’t be any groups worrying about you anymore. Because your circle of influence will slowly get smaller until another competitor slowly sneaks up on you and next thing you know you are figuring out what happened.
The worst character trait for a company to have is hubris. Several companies today are demonstrating this characteristic today. That lasts for a while until you develop a new trait, humility. Several more have this trait.