I have been assigned for 7 weeks by my office to work at the client side. I found the atmosphere there, much better than my office. In terms of employee happiness and productivity. Perhaps I can sum up the experience as a Google like experience.
Try to get to know your potential customers and users before you start building your solution. One way for this is doing questionnaires, sometimes called as customer interviews. I’ve done this recently and called up real people for a survey and here’s what you can learn from the experience we learned the hard way.