Seth Godin and Tara Hunt on Over-Delivering

October 11, 2006


Over-delivering, creating a remarkable experience…whatever you want to call it, many good marketing minds are recommending you do this to make your small business stand out.

Seth Godin gives this advice to a marketing strategist who was considering lowering her prices:

I just got an angry note from Anna in the Midwest. She read one of my books, got the coupon for unlimited free consulting by email and decided to cash it in. She sent me a note asking me to persuade her bosses that the best way to grow their resort was to lower prices.

When I responded that perhaps she ought to consider raising prices and using the extra money to create a remarkable experience, she got really angry with me. Of course, I refunded her consulting fee. Actually gave her three times back what she paid…

Tara Hunt talks about California vs. Old World wine and makes a great comparison to the trend in software to take special care and craft your work:

Yeah. It’s only software. But, at one point, wine was only a beverage. Sustenance. I don’t know at which point it flipped to being an art form. I look forward to the day that our industry evolves from being ‘only software’ to being an art form (I think 37 Signals is one of those shops that is leading us there with their full-on integrity).

Or maybe it doesn’t matter whether software ever gets there. What matters is the attitude behind crafting it, which I think is well on its way, and the attitude behind delivering it up.

All I know is that my palette is ruined for ‘good enough’. I now, especially, want a world where everyone over-delivers and delights.

At first glance, this advice actually all seems very obvious and intuitive: Of course you want to take care in crafting your product! Of course you want to surprise your customer with a remarkable experience! But in the day to day business of building your product, your brand and marketing it, the over-delivering ideas can easily get lost and forgotten.  Good thing we have some thought leaders out there reminding us what is important.


about the author

Co-Founder & VP of Operations, FreshBooks Levi is a professional engineer with a BEng from the University of Victoria. Before co-founding FreshBooks as the VP of Operations, Levi managed projects at Apex Systems Integrators Inc., where his clients included Canadian Tire, Nestlé and Parmalat. Levi’s long term goals include: never losing the contest to wear shorts to the office for as long as humanly possible, some day growing back his mullet he had in the eighties and getting on the jumbotron at the Raptors game at least once a year.