Blind Spot

Illuminating the Hidden Value in Business

By Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff & Sean Sauber

  • Blind Spot Cover
  • Distracted by traditional metrics and mounting access to data, leaders are blinded to what it actually takes to create greater value for their businesses: meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers.

    In Blind Spot, you’ll learn how exceptional organizations—from Disney to Instagram—innovate and sustain valuable, productive customer relationships. Blind Spot’s lessons deliver a groundbreaking perspective shift and win-win approach for your customers, your business—and even your shareholders.

    Learn more from the authors’ site.

    Since Hamilton Carhartt created our first overalls after doing ‘fieldwork’ with railway workers in 1889, everything we’ve done has rested on building great customer relationships. The ideas in Blind Spot have helped us do even better, in a much more complicated world

    Mark Valade, CEO, Carhartt

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    Illustrations View all on Flickr

    • BS000a: Front Cover
    • BS001
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    • BS004
    • BS005
    • BS006
    • BS007

    Blind Spot Blog View all Blog posts

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: A World of Hidden Value

    Chapter 2: Defining a Business Relationship

    Chapter 3: Visualizing Relationships

    Chapter 4: Finding Opportunities in Relationships

    Chapter 5: Becoming by Doind

    Chapter 6: Distancing & Team Structure

    Chapter 7: Discovering

    Chapter 8: Deciding

    Chapter 9: Declaring

    Chapter 10: Designing

    Chapter 11: Delivering

    Chapter 12: A World of Premium Value


    I normally hate books like this. I don’t want to have a customer experience, much less a brand experience. I can’t bring myself to support any effort to give corporations a human face to match their ill-begotten rights of citizenship and personhood. Companies are enough like people already, and people are becoming far too much like brands themselves.

    But Nathan Shedroff (whom I’ve discussed these issues with) and his co-authors, Steve Diller and Sean Sauber, are more forgiving people than I am, and they see a way for companies to humanize their operations without resorting to yet more manipulation. In fact, the guiding principle here is not that corporations should ape human behaviors in order to manipulate consumers into behaving more predictably. That’s the conventional wisdom in the customer experience universe, and it’s what has led to increasing alienation of human beings from the companies that mean to reduce their customers’ autonomy and individuality in the name of short-term profit.

    Rather, the authors suggest that companies accept their essentially non-human status and embrace the humanity of the people buying from and working for them. The corporation is not the ends but the means.

    That may be the greatest blind spot of all in today’s business landscape and, ironically, the one that our digital technologies have made most apparent to everyone else. In such an environment, transparency seems to alert everyone else to our own shortcomings, while hiding them from us.

    Thinking long and hard about one’s customers’ experiences—from first point of contact through sale and word-of-mouth to social responsibility, labor relations, and environmental impact—may be the best way for a company to justify actually benefiting people in the long run. Yes, it’s good for business.

    —Douglas Rushkoff
    Author, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus


    Building relationships is fundamental in the networked age. Blind Spot lays out a powerful design thinking approach for an organization to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with customers.

    Reid Hoffman, chairman at Linkedin and partner at Greylock

    When successful traditional companies like Target train their employees to refer to customers as ‘Guests,’ or when at tech companies like Automattic there aren’t any technical support people but there are ‘Happiness Engineers’ instead, you can see a company’s culture consciously caring about the relationships they choose to have with their customers. This new book on the science and art of crafting thoughtful relationships with customers, Blind Spot, provides helpful examples and frameworks to guide more leaders’ understanding for how to deeply engage and commit to their customers, instead of simply transacting with them while wondering why they’re not coming back at all.

    John Maeda, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

    The greatest challenge to corporate leaders today is finding new ways to build deep, long-lasting engagements with people in an era of transience and transaction. The waveline is the first new tool I’ve seen in years that has the power to build relationships with consumers that they will value highly. The dynamic, illustrative, multi-dimensionality of the waveline makes it the 21st century replacement for the consumer journey.  Indeed, the waveline is the new consumer journey

    Bruce Nussbaum, former innovation and design editor of Business Week, former professor of Design and Innovation at Parsons The New School of Design, and current Mentor-in-Residence at NEW INC, the New Museum’s digital art incubator in New York

    In a time of increasing complexity and change, Blind Spot takes the mystery out of how companies can and should create lasting value for the people that matter most—their customers.

    Lisa Kay Solomon, coauthor of Moments of Impact and Design a Better Business

    Since Hamilton Carhartt created our first overalls after doing ‘fieldwork’ with railway workers in 1889, everything we’ve done has rested on building great customer relationships. The ideas in Blind Spot have helped us do even better, in a much more complicated world

    Mark Valade, CEO, Carhartt

    From newspaper readers to cash-hungry ATM users, companies are looking to create meaningful and lasting relationships with their customers. The waveline is a truly game-changing tool for assessment and optimization of your organization’s consumer engagement.

    Thomas Pierce, chief marketing officer, Cardtronics