Iteration: Getting it Right for the Customer

Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right with the customer. In September 2014, I wrote about customer focus and my experience at Colectivo Coffee, after finishing my fourth Ironman Wisconsin.

Colectivo read my blog and wanted to make things right with me. At least, they wanted me to feel better about my negative experience. And I did. They gave me a $10.00 credit on my loyalty card, and told me they planned to work on changing things for Ironman Wisconsin 2015.


Companies that learn to iterate on behalf of what the customer needs are the ones surviving this ever-changing, often precarious business climate. Coffee places are a dime a dozen in Madison, Wisconsin, so business decisions matter. After all, Starbucks is just around the corner.

Agile helps organizations iterate quickly, establishing a loop of fast feedback that keeps the bets small and the energy and engagement high. It’s a ton of work to keep up with customer needs; these smaller chunks keep it within reach. It’s not easier, but success is more likely, and less risky. This keeps companies competitive with the Starbucks of the world.

Next year, I’ll give that Madison Colectivo another try. I’ll be a spectator as my husband races Ironman Wisconsin. It’s sort of a tradition that someone in our house competes at this race. That day in Madison, we’ll be needy, thirsty, hungry customers at 5:00a.m., and again at 5:00p.m. I imagine Colectivo will have a new and improved customer focus.

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