Songkick has a policy of not taking up offers to be put on the guestlist for shows. We didn’t actually realise this was something that unusual until Ben Sisario mentioned it in his NYT piece. Relatively quickly if you run a site for music (e.g. a medium sized music blog) you can get free tickets to most shows. We deliberately don’t do that so that everyone in our team still waits by their computer at whatever bizarre time the onsale is scheduled for and goes through the same process as every other fan out there. It keeps us close to the frustration and negative user experience that frequently characterises the process of buying tickets online.
“be careful to not create a distorted reality. Your users are likely on worse hardware with slower connections. They bump against your system limits all the time. The best way to motivate and fix problems is to encounter these same frustrations, and make sure your executives do as well.”
It would be interesting to think through the deliberate constraints that companies could be applying with other products e.g. for Google+, perhaps every Google Employee should be prevented from seeing other Googlers on the product, as a reminder of more normal usage patterns.