Written by Jeff Mitchell
“Customers don’t buy products and services;
they pull them into their lives to make progress.”
Walls lined with three stories of century-old whiskey barrels, the historic Seagram Distillery building now sits at the cutting edge of e-commerce. This collision of old and new, at the intersection of one of our region’s foundational, family-started businesses, and one of our country’s most innovative tech companies, was the perfect starting point for the DISC program.
(Jeff Mitchell, DISC Program Coordinator)
We have been pulled into the lives of young professionals and small business owners in the Kitchener-Waterloo region to create progress of varying kinds: to develop digital skills that are aligned with emerging industry needs on the one hand, while creating sustained digital growth, and offering an influx of talent, on the other. Functionally speaking, these are the jobs we’ve been hired to do. However, as we discussed in our first session, the progress we’re hired to create for customers is more nuanced and layered than surface level functionality. As we kicked things off last week we focused equally on our students’ desires to build confidence in their skill sets, and their pursuit of meaning in employment opportunities beyond the program - our social and emotional jobs to be done.
Armed with an understanding of customer discovery best practices and methodologies, DISC students left the Shopify Plus offices with a clear purpose: to build a critical customer persona for their small business client. Catalyzing digital growth for these small businesses begins with this fundamentally human foundation.
A remarkable energy sparked in our first collision of local small business and talented young professionals. Individually fueled by the pursuit of growth and equipped with the initiative to make change a reality, we are well on our way to our destination: progress.