Beyond Assumptions: Sailing Toward Customer-Centricity

Beyond Assumptions: Sailing Toward Customer-Centricity

In a world where assumptions can often steer us off course, mastering the art of navigating customer-centric strategies with clarity and insight becomes essential.

Have you ever encountered a situation where a consultant, designer, or developer confidently asserted, ‘Looks good to me,’ while making decisions about your project? It’s a phrase that rings with a mix of assurance and concern. After all, their expertise is meant to bridge the gap between your vision and reality.

This blog sets sail into the uncharted waters of using intuition and guesswork to shape customer-centric strategies. From crafting websites that dazzle the eyes but miss the mark to creating software that falls flat, the ‘Feels right in my opinion‘ mentality can lead to costly missteps.

What happens when their confidence embarks on a journey guided by assumptions about what you and your customers truly need for a triumphant voyage?

Visualize two people in a boat, each rowing in opposite directions. Similarly, consulting endeavors can drift aimlessly without a unified and customer-focused approach, like ships at sea without a guiding rudder burning precious fuel and yielding wasted or counterproductive results.

Join us as we embark on an odyssey to uncover stories and lessons that expose the inherent risks when your collaborators fail to grasp the intricacies of the target market and the needs of its customers.

Navigating the Web of Assumptions

When crafting a website, the age-old adage ‘looks can be deceiving‘ takes on a whole new significance. The trap is easy to fall into—prioritizing a design that appeals visually to the agency or designer creating it rather than focusing on what truly matters: how your customers respond.

Imagine this scenario: You’ve invested time, effort, and resources into a stunning website, complete with eye-catching visuals and intricate animations. The agency congratulates itself on a masterpiece. However, an alarming trend emerges once launched—visitors arrive, take a quick look, and vanish within seconds. Your carefully curated design becomes a revolving door for digital passersby.

It’s not just about meeting specifications; it’s about steering growth opportunities for your business through strategic and customer-focused design.

The disconnect stems from the gap between design that ‘looks good‘ and innovation that drives action. The latter demands an intimate understanding of your customers—what resonates, what motivates engagement. It calls for a user-centric approach that probes beyond aesthetics to delve into the psychology of user interaction.

This disparity in results often arises from differing perspectives. While the agency might prioritize checking items off a design specification, your ultimate goal as a business owner is to collaborate with professionals known for repeatedly and successfully creating websites that captivate and convert.

A website may charm the agency’s eyes, but if it fails to resonate with your target audience, it’s like dressing up a mannequin in haute couture and expecting it to make sales.

Software Development: Beyond Guesswork

Similar challenges extend beyond website design and delve deep into software development.

If immersed in this business, you’ve undoubtedly encountered individuals and agencies who assert they understand precisely what customers want, even without direct interactions or sales involvement. Their well-intentioned feedback emerges from the realm of the unknown, unanchored from the bedrock of concrete research or genuine engagement.

Ironically, their unwavering confidence in assumptions often leads to fruitless outcomes.

These scenarios have become all too familiar within the realm of product innovation. Assumptions, however well-intentioned, can be like sailing a vessel adrift without proper navigation. Even the most well-crafted code might miss the mark without a firm grasp on customer demands.

Like adept mariners navigating uncharted waters, business owners shoulder a responsibility that stretches well beyond the horizon of product envisioning. It’s about orchestrating a symphony that connects the waves of customer desires with the currents of your collaborators’ expertise.

A Modern Approach: Validation and Engagement

In the past, we cast away with the assumption that customers would flock to our product if we built it. However, just as ships can veer off course in turbulent waters, assumptions could lead us astray—a scenario akin to the ‘Field of Dreams’ concept. Building it doesn’t guarantee players on the field nor ensure you’ll navigate the open sea successfully.

Like Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away,’ marooned on a market island without competitors or customers, his attempts to draw attention prove futile, lost in a dialogue with imagination due to misguided direction.

Enter the modern approach focusing on validation and customer engagement before building. Prototypes are shared, feedback is actively sought, and commitment is solidified with letters of intent for emerging ideas. This approach resembles a ‘rowing together‘ strategy, ensuring customers desire what you create and will genuinely benefit from the experience.

Sailing through the waters of exploration, it’s acknowledged that the initial version may represent a partial masterpiece. The rhythm of progress features iterative enhancement, propelled by attentive listening, constant learning, and adaptive fine-tuning anchored in practical observations.

Within this maritime narrative, the true navigators of success are those who steer not by assumptions but by the wisdom of the ocean itself. Just as a seasoned sailor corrects their course in response to changing winds, this approach realigns your journey in the market’s currents, ensuring you don’t drift off course like a marooned castaway.

Setting Sail on the Sea of Understanding: Navigating the Future

As we navigate the realm of assumptions and their impact on customer-centric strategies, a clear theme emerges: success hinges on understanding, engagement, and evolution.

Within this context, ‘Looks good to me‘ emphasizes the need to bridge the vision-reality gap with more than a confident nod. It requires a commitment to delve into the intricacies of diverse markets, sometimes even exploring your clients’ clientele.

Empowered by newfound insights, we sail on a voyage into an era where steering toward success entails crafting experiences that genuinely harmonize with customers’ desires, evoking their delight.

Success is determined by the impact of our offerings, not assumptions.

Through steadfast learning, fine-tuning, and advancement, we emerge as the protagonists in a narrative sculpted by the market’s collective wisdom.

In this saga, the very soul of customer-centric success sails far beyond mere assumptions. ⛵

The Enigmatic World of Kevin Mitnick: Stories of Hacking and Redemption

Kevin Mitnick aka Condor

The Enigmatic World of Kevin Mitnick: Stories of Hacking and Redemption


Once upon a time, in the mid-90s, I was drawn into a world of hackers and cybersecurity experts, seeking knowledge and inspiration. Among the names that echoed through our circles was that of Kevin Mitnick, a legendary figure revered for his audacious exploits and unmatched hacking prowess.

Kevin’s stories were the stuff of legends, like how he managed to hack into the source code of cellphone towers, a feat that left us all in awe. But what truly amazed me was his daring act of monitoring the FBI’s phones, pinging in and out undetected like a modern-day phantom. His reputation soared, but it also led to dire consequences.

For a long time, Kevin was imprisoned and treated as a domestic terrorist, a dark chapter in his journey that many of us remember vividly. However, Kevin’s resilience was undeniable, and he emerged from his struggles, soaring to new heights with his consulting business, Mitnick Security, and collaboration with KnowBe4. His transformation from a hacker on the wrong side of the law to a cybersecurity expert was awe-inspiring.

Our paths intertwined oddly shortly after his release when an organization Kevin had targeted repeatedly was hacked once again. When he hacked them, he traveled incognito in a van; this mobile hacking lab was a marvel of ingenuity, weaponized to break into internet service providers using cell phones—a feat unheard of back then. Someone had breached their systems and was being monitored, likely unaware of the innate paranoia and fortifications from past encounters with Kevin in his prime. If only these attackers knew the dedication and skill required to fend off such attacks, they would have seen the victim as more than just another target.

As fate would have it, suspicion turned toward me during the investigation into the latest breach. I was questioned about my involvement and that of others in my circle, who may or may not have been responsible for the intrusion. Strangely, I did not know the real intruders, yet somehow they had linked me to the caper with hacker-planted evidence. The situation was perplexing and surprising, especially to my parents.

Although my chance to ask Kevin about this incident never came, I can imagine the stories he might have shared about the chase and life on the run. In the vastness of the internet, it’s a small world indeed, especially when you’re constantly scanning for hidden doorways.

I am writing this blog with mixed emotions today as Kevin has passed away. Kevin Mitnick, you were a hacker and a symbol of transformation and redemption. You’ve made significant contributions to cybersecurity, leaving a lasting impact. As we bid you farewell, may your legacy continue to inspire future generations to strive for greatness in the world of security.

Rest in peace, Kevin Mitnick, a digital martyr and rehabilitated hacker who has left an indelible mark on the world.

Phish Gallery & Blog Update

Phish Gallery & Blog Update


Why has the blog been so dry? Well, it’s complicated. There are always people who don’t want to see you expressing yourself in a public way. These invisible haters will try to make connections between your personal activities, i.e., Blogging and work-related things, in any way they desperately can. I win those battles; it’s just tiring to explain to the suits how free speech works. Support the ACLU and EFF. 

Visit my Twitter Feed to see screenshots of various threats that come my way from readers, and my own mailboxes being flooded with threats. Many of them turn into future news articles in the days or weeks to come, so you get a head start. Otherwise, I tend to post the news I’ve been personally reading throughout the day. Maybe you’ll find something interesting. Thanks for reading. I’ll be back as soon as I finish realigning my career goals and getting myself in a good place to write again.

Phishing Gallery

It’s been a CRAZY year for breaches, ransomware, and other cyber terrorism. Truly a daily occurrence all over the world. A collection of phishing screenshots I’ve collected this year from various honeypots and other sources. We’ve worked with many organizations over the years to take down infrastructure related to these attacks. The trend I’ve seen across security products is that they block effectively, but it takes days. Secondly, the sites and email sources tend to go largely unreported.  If you want to make a difference: Protect future victims by sending the abuse emails. It may take hours, but it’ll take days or even weeks as everyone shields themselves without bringing the sites down. Many providers I reach out to will respond quickly to eliminate the artifacts.

Useful Links: 


(Click the right > key to move through the screenshots. I need to fix the jumping around with different sizes)

Emails + Attachments: