Understanding Your 'Why' — Insights From Dheeraj Pandeyby@scottdclary
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Understanding Your 'Why' — Insights From Dheeraj Pandey

by Scott D. ClaryMay 17th, 2024
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You ever meet a person and instantly think "man, this guy gets it"? That's how I felt after chatting with Dheeraj Pandey.
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A new podcast just dropped with Dheeraj Pandey, Founder of Nutanix, Dev Rev and sits on Adobe’s Board. We spoke about your “why”, customer experience and where AI plays a role in all of this.

If you want to listen to the full podcast, listen on or on YouTube.

You ever meet a person and instantly think "man, this guy gets it"? That's how I felt after chatting with Dheeraj Pandey. He's not only the founder of hyperconverged infrastructure giant Nutanix, but he's also the brains behind DevRev – a new company revolutionizing how engineers and customers connect.

Dheeraj is a master class in building massively successful companies. So, what does someone like that focus on?

The North Star: Customer Delight

Forget growth hacking, fancy sales funnels, or whatever tactic is trendy this week. Dheeraj says it's all about obsessing over your customer. In a world where anyone can throw together a product, the differentiator is how good you make people feel. Here's how:

  • The age of short attention spans: People are bombarded with information. Make your value proposition instantly obvious – like in 5 seconds obvious. Nobody has time for complicated pitches.
  • Treat customers like royalty: Dheeraj talks about a servant mindset – he puts the needs of his customers, employees, and partners at the forefront. This level of care breeds loyalty like nothing else.

So, how do you actually put this into practice?

Start small. Dheeraj says build trust gradually, offering bite-sized chunks of value that leave people wanting more. Think samples, sneak peeks, exclusive content – let them fall in love with your product and company organically.

Let's get real: this ain't easy. It means saying no to a lot of distractions and focusing on the few things that create the absolute best customer experience. Dheeraj calls this "essentialism" – basically, the art of ruthlessly prioritizing what matters.

But hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?

It's easy to throw around words like "customer-obsessed" and "empathy" – it's quite another to actually live them out. Dheeraj provides a refreshing dose of realism when it comes to building a truly customer-focused company. Here's where his insights shine:

It's all about the details: The devil is in the details when it comes to customer experience. Dheeraj stresses the importance of obsessing over those tiny touchpoints that add up to either delight or frustration.

  • Speed matters: In today's fast-paced world, people expect near-instant responses. How quickly do you address customer feedback? Do you make them jump through hoops for support?
  • Walk the walk: Words are cheap. Dheeraj advocates for a "servant mindset" – treating customers, employees, and partners with respect. Actions demonstrate your values more than any fancy marketing campaign.

The bigger picture: connecting with your 'why'

This meticulous focus on customer experience is what sets enduring companies apart. It's not just about the what of your product, but the how you make people feel. That's an extension of your company's 'why.'

Dheeraj Pandey's wisdom boils down to one powerful idea: start with why. That's what truly motivates your team and attracts loyal customers.

What's your 'why'? Why bother at all?

We live in a world where anyone can launch a startup. Shiny new objects pop up every day. So, what's going to make YOUR company different? Why should anyone care?

Dheeraj says it's not about features or even the product itself. It's about what you stand for, the problem you're solving, and how you're making a difference. THIS is what people buy into.

Aligning the stars – from inside out

Dheeraj talks about reducing "information asymmetry," which is a fancy way of saying get everyone on the same page. When everyone in your company understands the 'why' behind their daily tasks, work becomes more than a paycheck. It becomes a mission.

  • Share the big picture: Communicate your vision relentlessly. Make sure even the newest hire gets why their work matters.
  • Feedback loops matter: Are your values just words on a wall? Create channels for real, honest feedback. This strengthens buy-in and keeps everyone aligned with the mission.
  • Celebrate people: Recognize those who go above and beyond to live the company's 'why.' Culture is contagious.

The Future: AI and the next evolution

Dheeraj is betting big on AI's potential to transform how we create and serve customers. Now, I'm no AI expert, but even I can see the opportunities here:

  • Personalized experiences: AI can tailor customer journeys unlike anything we've seen before. This goes way beyond just targeted ads.
  • Faster learning curves: AI can analyze data and identify patterns way faster than humans. This means faster insights and adaptation.
  • Enhanced creativity: Let’s be real – AI isn’t taking over the world (yet). But it can free us up to focus on the big picture while automating the mundane.

The key takeaway? Don't be afraid of AI. Instead, embrace it as a tool to become even more customer-centric and efficient.

Final thought: Dheeraj reminds us that while the tools and tactics change, the principles of great business remain timeless.

Start with 'why', build authentic relationships, obsess over your customer's experience, and adapt to the ever-evolving world. It's a simple recipe… and the hardest one to master.

If you want to listen to the full podcast, listen on or on YouTube.