Customer-focused decision making

Reading Kevin Fox’s response to Doug Bowman, the designer whose post about leaving Google I linked to last week, I was struck by his closing statement:

Even when data-driven analysis is used to determine which design will be more profitable, at Google this is highly tempered against the impact to the user. Google could easily increase their revenue in the short term with just a few poor decisions, but they don’t. This philosophy of ‘put the user first and the money will follow’ is so ingrained into the Google culture that many designers and engineers for whom this is their first corporate job don’t even realize that this is unusual, and that is awesome.

I didn’t fully realize until reading this statement that the root of most of my job-related frustration over the past two years is directly related to this user-first philosophy, which causes me to butt heads constantly with workers and managers who follow a different path.