Phil Gordon

Phil Gordon
  • Product insights manager at Spotify
  • New York City, USA

After Phil graduated from college, he realized he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, but he knew without a doubt that he wanted to try to figure it out while WWOOFing in New Zealand. The WWOOFing was great, but he didn't discover his calling until he returned to the States, when he stumbled upon UX Research. Phil has been fascinated by the study of why people engage with digital experiences the way they do ever since.

TALK

Sympathy vs. empathy & making product decisions at Speed

COVID does not seem to have impacted the speed at which businesses operate. We at Spotify are making decisions faster than ever. We are experimenting with and rolling out features that are likely going to have a significant impact on our customers and how they use key components of Spotify for years to come. What we do not have time for is sympathy. Sympathy drives disconnection. Sympathy has the potential to damage long-term relationships. We need to focus on empathy because if we fail to empathize with our customers, we risk making decisions that may benefit them in the short term, but negatively impact them in the long run. If we build empathy, we will feel empowered to make decisions that may have perceived negative short-term consequences, but long-term benefits for our customers. Empathy is like a muscle. We (all of us collectively) have to work together to build and develop our empathetic reflexes.