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user: First, it provided one-stop shopping convenience. Businesses filled out one short form in less than a minute, and then received customized quotes, based on their specific needs, from those affiliated telecom providers (which numbered over 20) who believed they could meet the cus-tomer’s needs. Second, T1 Anywhere promised the convenience of fast response. Ultimately, I worked with providers so that the site could promise a response within 12 hours. Finally, I believed that many growing businesses were uncertain how to engage with telecommunications giants. They were not certain that if they phoned the offices of some of the nation’s largest providers, they would receive adequate service. The site therefore provided growing businesses with confidence that they were attracting the attention of even the largest providers.

With this mix of values for the user, I envisioned that the site would principally attract growing businesses who wanted to increase the size and speed of their broadband connections. Soon, I found out I was wrong. I discovered that over 50% of the site’s users were larger businesses whose contracts for existing T1 services were expiring. In the price-conscious atmosphere that prevailed at the time, these companies were using the site as a quick way to assess available T1 prices and services in the market. The companies knew they wanted to continue using a T1, but they were interested in the availability of lower costs or enhanced variations from alternate providers: They wanted to ensure that they were receiving the best possible value for their spending. Once I recognized that the T1 Anywhere was attracting this customer group, I quickly added specific features to T1 Anywhere that would further enhance its appeal to these larger companies.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.