Seeing the world from the inside out

People can get too close to the detail of the business, and lose sight of the big picture.
Or, they become so expert in their category, they forget how it feels from the customer’s standpoint.  This is why disruptive innovation usually comes from outside the category – because it’s all too easy to accept the category norms, and work within them, even while customers are expressing dissatisfaction (or even if they’re not – if you don’t make things better, sooner or later someone else will).

This is a watch-out for early-stage businesses too. To raise money, entrepreneurs talk to investors about their idea and about the tech, maybe also about themselves and their track record. That can be habit-forming, and it takes a conscious effort to start the conversation where the prospective customer is, rather than with the technology or a product demo. Leading with painpoints and benefits requires an outside-in view, which demands deep understanding of the target customer. Once achieved, though, it provides the strategic marketing foundation that starts to attract customers, makes every sales call easier and helps a small business to scale.

The danger sign insiders saying customers
don’t understand how the business/ category/ sector works.

For smaller businesses: finding it hard to say concisely what the business does for customers.