Dilbert and the user experience

March 15, 2010

I was relaxing this Sunday afternoon reading the business section in the Sunday edition of the local newspaper when I read the Dilbert Cartoon (Yes venture capital partners do read more than excel spreadsheets and private jet magazine).


It reminded me of the Oscar Wilde quote “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” as I started to think back on my experiences in software companies I worked for, expansion stage software companies where I was an independent board director, and companies that OpenView partners has invested growth capital in over the years.

As I reflect back on these experiences I am overwhelmed by how many companies and management teams are cavalier about what they provide in the way of a user experience to their customers and prospects. As a Boston venture capital we stress to all our portfolio companies how critical the user experience is to their success today and tomorrow.

If you look at companies who are known for outstanding user experiences and delighting the customer a few companies come to mind for me…


Virgin Airlines (Scott Maxwell even wrote a blog about this)

Geico Insurance

I can’t think of anything more critical in creating a competitive advantage than user experience. It starts at the top with the CEO and founders being committed and focused. It requires the management team to drive with a single minded purpose around delighting the customer every day. It is not just product management or development, but every organization and every individual within the company that touch your customers and prospects.

Ask yourself in the mirror… are you committed to a market leading user experience or are you like the character in the Dilbert cartoon?

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.