Welcome to Empathy Deployed

This episode provides some background on why I started this podcast. If you’d like to get straight into some customer interview examples you can skip to episode 1.

Jon: Welcome to empathy deployed the
podcast where you can experience an

example customer interview every week.

You'll discover new perspectives on
different software products and improve

your customer interview technique.

As I attempt to do the same

I'm Jonathan Markwell.

This episode provides some background
on why I started this podcast.

If you'd like to get straight into
some customer interview examples,

you can skip to episode one.

I've lost jobs, falling out with
co-founders and had my software

products fail, because I didn't
understand other people's perspective.

I really enjoy writing software
and tinkering with my own ideas.

My comfort zone is not talking to anyone.

Unsurprisingly, multiple
colleagues have given me feedback,

telling me I lack empathy.

I spent over a decade struggling
with this along with the anxiety,

depression, and debt that often
followed, I think fortunate to see

more than my fair share of success.

I've helped four B2B subscription
businesses go from zero to

over 1 million in revenue.

After spending hundreds of thousands
of pounds building the wrong thing,

they discovered the problem they
should have been solving all along.

I can trace the success of each of them
to a few conversations where the founders

empathized with customers, luck played
far more of a part than it should

have in making those conversations.

I've had many teachers who have
taught me the importance of

empathy over the last 15 years.

I've attended conferences, listen to
podcasts, read books and taking courses.

They've drilled it into me.

I know having more empathy for
customers, colleagues, friends,

and family would be a good thing.

It will help me grow personally
and professionally, and I will

be better equipped to help them.

Yeah, I still fail to
practice it regularly.

I've wondered if I'm
just not cut out for it.

I learned I was dyslexic at
16, which explained some of my

struggles with work at school.

I also really struggled with making
friends and keeping them last year.

My son was diagnosed as autistic
and I learned much more about

neurodiversity as a result.

I know I'm an introvert, but I
suspect I may have ADHD and, or

be autistic as well, either way.

I feel I need to put far more
work into having and displaying

empathy than other people might.

There's one podcast I've kept up
with every episode of over the

last year, and it's really helped.

I started listening to the software social
podcast, because I wanted to change from

hearing the experiences of men without
children starting software businesses.

I kept listening because I
found it more insightful and

inspiring than anything else.

I relate to the hosts.

Colleen schnetzler as a Ruby developer and
Michelle Hanson as a customer research.


I found one episode,
particularly fascinating.

And interview of one of Colleen's
customers conducted by Michelle.

In the example, interview Michelle
expertly demonstrated what questions to

ask, how to ask them and how to respond.

The example is an excellent companion
to Michelle's book, deploy empathy.

I was lucky enough to get early access
when she started publishing chapters

to her newsletter earlier, this.

It was the practical guide to
interviewing customers that I, and many

of my clients always needed the book
and interviewing combined inspired me

to conduct 12 customer interviews for
both my clients and my own businesses.

Michelle's work helped me have some
of the most insightful customer

interviews I've ever experienced.

We learned pricing for one product
was far too low for some custom.

We learned the job and other product did
for customers was completely different

from how we described it on the website.

I found myself talking to people outside
of work in far more positive ways.

I was getting a better understanding of
how and why other people were thinking

certain things, even when I didn't
agree with their ideas, then before

I knew it, I realized I had failed
to keep up with this new practice.

Weeks had gone by since my last customer
interview, I spent another with my

heading code, not talking to anyone
outside of my household, I'd likely fall

into the trap of building more stuff.

Nobody wants I was stressed and it
was showing outside of work too.

Now there's a hack I've used repeatedly
over the years to force me to do

something that doesn't come naturally.

I'm really bad at starting
conversations with people and

building long-term relationships.

I learned early on that if you
organize something, people will

inevitably come to you with
questions and break the ice for you.

So I started meetups conferences and
even a coworking community to get to know

people and keep seeing them regularly.

I can now trace most of my
best clients and many of my

closest friends back to doing.

I felt I needed a new hack to keep me in
the habit of doing customer interviews,

listening to an example, customer
interview every week might do the trick.

I'd have a steady source of
inspiration to do it myself.

I found other people were
looking for this, but no one

else seemed to be doing it.

So after checking Michelle wasn't planning
something similar, I started this pub.

I'm recording this intro after
doing the first two interviews, I've

learned about highly valued products.

I was previously unaware of I've learned
why they were chosen by people working

in different businesses to my own.

I'm hopefully getting
better at empathizing with

people with each interview.

You can be the judge of that.

They're not perfect.

I'm still learning, but I think you're
going to find them as fascinating as that.

Each episode explores a different
software product from the perspective

of a different user I'm being guided
by the interview script, Michelle

includes and deploy empathy.

I'm primarily focusing on business
software products as that's

always been my area of interest.

You might hear from people
using your competitor's

products in parts of the world.

You don't yet have customers in.

Hopefully this will help you
to discover new perspectives.

Make better products and do more customer
interviews for your own products.

Guests will get some attention
from my audience of business

owners and developers.

Those who haven't been
on a podcast before.

Shouldn't find my questions at all.

Difficult to answer the focus will be
on tools and services they've been using

rather than them and their own businesses
seasoned podcasters will hopefully find is

a nice change of pace from other podcast.

But of course also gets influenced a
few hundred people into building better

products while raising awareness of
their own businesses and or causes.

If you'd like to join me as a guest on
a future episode, please send me a note.

I'm jumped on Twitter.

That's J O T.

My DMS are open.

You can also use the form at
empathy, deployed.com or email.

Hello at empathy deployed.

Please include the names and
addresses of free software products

you use regularly and or pay for.


Let's get into the customer interviews.

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