FreshBooks is an experience: Understanding the Business You Are In

August 6, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: FreshBooks is not in bookkeeping and invoicing business – we’re in the experience delivery business. We recognize that using our application is an experience, so we work hard to make that experience enjoyable. Need help? Send us an email and you’ll receive a timely reply from someone knowledgeable. These are all experiences, and experiences are what we get paid to deliver.

Knowing the business you are in can make all the difference. What’s amazing is many business lose sight of their real business and their true customer and think they are something they are not.

Take newspapers for example – they are the poster children for misunderstanding the business they are in. They started out building local communities of readers, then monetized those audiences by becoming vectors for advertising messages. Somewhere along the way newspapers lost sight of their true customer – the reader – and thought advertisers were the people they served. Today audiences dwindling and advertisers are choosing new channels for their ad dollars, while newspapers are reaping what they sowed and losing sight of their raison d’etre.

Misunderstanding the business you are in is surprisingly common – especially for incumbents in established industries and startups in markets that nascent. Know the business you are in and don’t lose sight of it.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.