How one invention (created by user feedback) changed the world.

So often I see entrepreneurs trying to sell what "they" want instead of what the customers want.


Desired Path
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What entrepreneurs can learn from “Desired Path”

Hashtags are used to raise awareness for almost all major political movements. It changed the way messages spread.

But Twitter didn’t invent hashtags. Their users did.

In 2007, a programmer named Chris Messina tweeted the suggestion use hashtags to group similar conversations.

Twitter ignored it.

Later that year, there was a series of wildfires in San Diego that lasted almost a month. Over half million residents were evacuated and 10 people died.

During this time, Twitter users took Messina’s suggestion and started using #sandiegofire to give updates about the fire.

The hashtag took off.

It was clear people found this feature valuable. Twitter officially incorporated the hashtag feature into its platform in 2009.

As marketers, we often focus on “talking” to our audience, but this story teaches us the importance of “listening” as well.

Are you listening to your audience?

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