Michele Hansen

Michele Hansen

About

I'm co-founder of Geocodio, a successful indie SaaS. I'm also the co-host of the  Software Social podcast and a mentor through Earnest Capital.

People often ask me how we’ve been able to build a successful small software business without external funding, and the secret is that listening to customers is embedded into everything we do. It is the cornerstone, foundation, and pillars of how we make decisions.

Hearing that, people often want to learn how to interview customers themselves. I would find myself typing out long emails that were a mix of chapters of books, podcasts, blog posts, most of which were written for UX people and weren't entirely relevant to founders and would-be founders building and growing companies. I didn’t feel like I had one solid place to send them. (As you’ll learn in this book, repeated manual work is a symptom of pain that can be solved by a product.) I needed a resource that presumed no previous experience with customer research and was also biased toward action. 

Deploy Empathy is intended to be that book. It is the product of my own years of interviewing customers, potential customers, and former customers. 

I have refined the tactics and scripts in this book over thousands of interviews. I have used them with everyone from 18 year old college students creating a map for a semester project, to executives entering a new market, to 90 year old men who consult actuarial tables to see if they will leave enough money for their spouse if they die first. 

But it took me a long time to realize the value that can come from listening to customers and to do so in a way that leads to results, and I try to keep that in mind whenever I'm talking about this. 

If you're new to this, you may not believe me until you start seeing the results and having those “aha!” moments of learning for yourself. I recognize that interviewing customers and integrating them into your decision-making is a mental leap for a lot of people. 

I accept your doubt and welcome it.