I can still remember my very first customer: my uncle. This was more than 20 years ago at grammar school. We used my first PC to edit the school newspaper and selecting the right font for the headlines was a nightmare. I created a small app that was able to show a given text with all possible fonts. It was not a big deal (well, actually it was because you could not just load all fonts into the memory at once, so I had to use something that is now called list virtualization) and it saved me a few hours of work. My uncle was a kind of graphic designer and he was one of the first ones who switched to digital designs when the first PCs became available in Hungary. I don’t remember anymore how, but I gave this small app to him and he used it in his daily work.
I went to university, we started to use Win95 and also the Internet became more and more popular. There were several magazines with gratis CDs, full of useful and less useful small apps. Also a lot of apps to support design works and font selections. I even forgot about my app already when I met my uncle again. To my surprise, he told me that he was still using my program to review fonts and he even shared it with his colleagues. He was aware that there were hundreds of other applications that could do something similar, but my app just did the thing well enough and he was not disturbed by a load of other features that he did not need. I did not know anything about user stories, the 20-80 rule (80% of the users use only 20% of the functions) or about impact mapping yet, but I learned something very important: if you identify your goal well (in my case “be able to find the best font for my text faster”) and focus on solving it, you can make your customers really happy.