I’m a regular at Meat Cheese Bread, my favorite sandwich shop in Portland. Even though I’m sick and feel like hell, I ventured out to pick up a to-go order today, because their egg salad sandwich makes everything better. John, the owner, was working the counter.
Me: Can I make a suggestion?
Me: You guys should make a sweet tea.
John (emphatically): No.
John: Because it’s disgusting. I make all the iced tea myself. Simple syrup’s over there. If you want to ruin it, go ahead.
Some people would get turned off by this, others would be downright pissed. But this is exactly what I like in a business, and it’s why I eat there at least once a week.
John’s singular, uncompromising vision is why the food is so damned great. He’s not trying to make a restaurant that makes everyone happy; he built a place that he’d want to eat at, and if you don’t like it, piss off.
The same goes for the web. I’d rather use a service that has a strong, single-minded vision, even if some of the decisions aren’t exactly how I’d want them, than a washed-out, milquetoast service created by committee, designed to meet market demand, that tries to make everybody happy.
Another way to put it: if someone out there doesn’t hate your product, it’s probably not worth using.