Imagine working for years at a company, developing products or services, and not knowing what your customers think of them. I think the vast majority of employees are in that situation--nearly completely disconnected from their customers. Yes, companies have technical support people and sales people who talk to customers, but what about executives and senior managers? The people making the big decisions often have little if any "customer capital" -- or knowledge of what the customers want and think.
Wasatch Digital IQ has a nice article about Utah's deal flow in 2005. A great quote from Steve Grizelle about several Utah companies getting big and acquiring other companies. I'm particularly impressed to learn that SkyWest is now the nation's largest regional carrier with 2,400 daily flights and 14,000 employees. Here's a very intesting fact: SkyWest has 380 aircraft compared to Southwest's 441 aircraft. (Probably a major difference in the size of the aircraft, though, I'm guessing.)
Congratulations to Infopia for closing on an $8 million funding round from Hummer Winblad and Trident Capital. Infopia is an ecommerce platform that helps customers get their products onto sites such as eBay, Amazon, Google, Overstock, Shopzilla and others. Bjorn Espenes and his partners have made some very powerful breakthroughs in e-commerce automation. This funding round is great to see.