The Customer Is NOT Always Right

If you’re going to innovate, you’re going to upset a few people

Joe Procopio
7 min readMay 6, 2021


image by nakaridore

Before we get into this, I’m going to first clarify that you should do everything in your power to satisfy every single one of your customers.

It’s hard to argue against making customers happy, but I’m going to do it anyway, because living by the rule that the customer is always right is a dangerous game when you’re trying to innovate.

I’m not talking about Henry Ford pushing forward with the automobile while his customers allegedly clamored for faster horses. I’m asking you to decide whether you’re willing to bet everything on your solution.

Why you should seek out and embrace negative feedback

I get negative customer feedback quite often. Not a lot, but more than a little, because I solicit customer feedback at every opportunity. When that feedback goes negative, it’s usually because what I’m building or proposing or discussing doesn’t look, sound, or act like it’s supposed to. It doesn’t work like it should. It doesn’t offer the expected value proposition for the price.

Almost all of the fault is on me, and that’s fine.

Negative customer feedback used to bother me a lot. I used to avoid it at all costs. Now negative feedback doesn’t bother me at all. And I don’t avoid it, I seek it out. And when I don’t get it, that bothers me.

Because if I’m making everyone happy, I’ve definitely stopped innovating.

What is innovation and why is it important?

Don’t let that last sentence paint the wrong picture. Chasing innovation is not the wielding of secret sorcery. Innovation is not something that is conjured up. In fact, innovation isn’t really even something you do so much as it is a by-product of relentlessly chasing a goal and perpetually running into a brick wall.

There’s no magic to that. My kids used to do that when they were toddlers.

Every startup thinks it’s innovative. And in some ways, every startup is indeed innovative, even the ones running cookie cutter business plans or riding the coattails of whatever latest trend…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at