aHead in the CLOUD –

Humanizing Key to Success

Tampa’s Kevin Hale, one of the founders of Infinity Box, Inc. and one of the creators of, shares his secrets for success in the internet start-up business.  Take thirty minutes from your lunch break to watch Kevin’s enthusiastic ‘Internet start up boot camp’ video.

OK, so what is Kevin’s secret?

Fanatical Customer Service

WuFoo‘s philosophy for customer service is interesting.  WuFoo takes a psychological approach to customer service.  Kevin explains the approach as dating new customers and marrying regular customers.  Translation:  Work hard to make great first impressions, and personalize service to exiting customers.

Dating = New Customer Interaction

  • Developers are part of the customer support process.  Because developers  support the products they develop, they are best equipped to fix issues and  learn to build better apps as a result:  ‘Build products like you have to support them’ philosophy
  • WuFoo pays careful attention to the pages that new customers are most likely to see first, such as login, home, launch, account, and first support pages.  Pages are friendly, fun, and  well thought-out (This last one kind of reminds me of Apple’s philosophy about their gadgets)

Marriage = Managing existing customers

  • WuFoo has its developers write hand-written thank-you notes to regular customers every week.
  • Fun and rewarding contest:  WuFoo gave away a battle-ax as part of an API contest!  The winners received cash and the ax, but WuFoo gained several new product features as a result! Great example of crowdsourcing!

Operational Logistics

  • WuFoo leverages many free and open source tools to manage its internal communications, and then builds support and documentation right into the development process.
  • New products aren’t launched unless documentation, tool tips, and support features are complete.  Nice!

The key take away from WuFoo’s approach to its startup success is that it humanizes its product from start to finish.  Users don’t just sign-up for a Wufoo account, they ‘marry’ it!


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