On November 4, 2021 we attended the CX Impact Summit presented by Momentive for a day of best practices, expert insights, and tangible takeaways from top experts and innovators.
This year’s keynote speakers included comedian and host of the “Daily Show,” Trevor Noah, and professional athlete and businesswoman, Serena Williams. Both discussed how they handle the privileges and demands of their respective industries; including how to use feedback to iterate and how to approach high-pressure situations.
We’re always looking for good advice on how to do business better; especially from experts outside of the mobile industry who might have a big picture perspective we might be missing. Read our top takeaways from Trevor Noah and Serena Williams’ discussions.
1. The customer is not always right, but the customer is king.
As the host of “the Daily Show,” Trevor Noah knows a thing or two about getting feedback and integrating it into his work. From a stand up comedy perspective, he discussed how easy and immediate getting feedback is. If a joke is good, people laugh. If it’s not, they don’t. For “The Daily Show,” feedback comes in the form of metrics. He discussed how ratings, views and shares allow his team to “see how people are connecting with what [they’re] creating.”
But he noted the importance of finding a balance between acting solely based on feedback versus taking it into consideration. The first step to finding this balance is identifying what’s feedback and what’s just valueless chatter:
“Feedback comes from the people who are consuming your product and the people who may consume your product. Everything else I don’t consider feedback because [it’s from people who are] not consuming nor will they ever consume your product.”
This helps you identify the opinions that should drive value when it comes to producing your product or service. With this in mind, reorienting your mindset to seeing your customer as a very important figure — like a king — who can impact the success of your business rather than infallible, is key.
He discussed the flip side of this approach, which is being at the whim of the “winds of opinions.” If you allow the winds of opinions to sway you as you go, at the end of the day, your product or service could be blown in any single direction based on those winds.
“I use feedback to help me create what I want to create in a better fashion but I'm careful to not allow feedback to dictate what I create because when push comes to shove and I'm in a room by myself, I won't know why I'm creating it anymore.”
Distinguish between feedback and valueless chatter. Of the feedback you receive about your product or service, be mindful that your user is not always right, but rather in a privileged position of dictating the success or failure of your brand. Don’t forget that your feedback matters too. Optimizations to your product or service should be made based on a balance of feedback from your users and your own creative vision.
2. The distinction between 'performing' and 'being'
When asked about advice for executives who have to present in front of people and inspire teams, Noah highlighted the counterintuitive nature of performing vs. being. He gave an example of how when making presentations, executives feel the need to show they’re confident and not nervous.
“But, people are a lot more intuitive than you think they are, people are a lot more perceptive and so they can feel the posturing... You’d be shocked at how being authentic with an audience will completely ingratiate you to them.”
He recommended bringing your whole self to any presentation, whether you’re an executive or not. That means, saying you’re excited if you’re excited or sharing that you’re nervous with your audience if you are, in fact, nervous.
On a deeper level, this shifts the focus from putting on a “presentation face” to being in alignment with your brand.
“Do you trust your product? Do you trust what you’re doing? Do you believe in it? Then, work on conveying that to people.”
Noah recommended presenting your product or service in the same way you would to a family member. You wouldn’t give a formal presentation to your uncle at Thanksgiving if he asked about your business. Present your product or service to people in the same way you would to a family member.
“I think that’s when the authenticity comes in, is understanding that you trying to ‘be’ is always going to [remove] a certain level of authenticity … from your performance. What you really want to do is ‘be’ and express that ‘being’ to the audience.”
Presenting and performing well in front of people begins with your belief in the product or service you’re talking about. People are perceptive and can intuit when you’re posturing for something you don’t believe in. Start with building something that you believe in. Then, work on conveying that belief to your audience.
3. When you’re under pressure remember that pressure makes diamonds
Serena Williams is well known as a champion in tennis. She is lesser known for her championing of women and minorities in the venture capital space. With her VC firm, Serena Ventures, Williams invests in women-founded businesses; which, today, only receive 2% of all VC funding. Williams said that when she first learned that statistic, she was so shocked she thought it had been misquoted.
“I was like wow I have less than 1% chance to get funded if I wanted to start a business.”
This propelled Williams to found Serena Ventures which, to date, has invested in 11 unicorns, at least one per year since its founding in 2014.
But investing is no easy task. When asked how she keeps up with the ever-changing market and technology trends, Williams responded: “You always have to be willing, ready and have a second plan.” She also recommended making updates to your programming — in the same way you make updates to your phone — every 2 years to keep on top of the trends.
Currently, only 4% of venture capitalists are Black, 4% are Latino and 1% of founders are Black. How does Wililams deal with pressures of making change in the face of this disparity? Her answer: she gets in the mindset of a champion.
“You’re under pressure and pressure makes diamonds… It’s a privilege. If you’re in that position then you should be happy and fortunate that you have those feelings. Go out and make a diamond.”
When you work on building a product or a service that you believe in, there can be an intense amount of pressure to succeed. That feeling is a privilege. Feel gratitude when you realize how much you care about what you’re building. Fuel the pressure into building something remarkable.
Whether it be balancing feedback from users with your app’s creative vision or approaching the high pressure growth marketing industry with the winning mindset of a champion, these insights can be beneficial to your brand. For resources and support crafting an app growth strategy that aligns authentically with your team’s core values, connect with us!