Mario Cardinal

"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" – Marcel Proust

Customer Pivot

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In my last blog entry about Slingboards Lab, I explained that through many business-hypothesis-driven experimentations, we discovered over the last twelve months that co-creation is not an intrinsic need for teammates. Creativity is mainly an individual journey.

pivotAs lean entrepreneur, this was the signal that we had to pivot our business model. As defined by Eric Ries in his book Lean Startup, a pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth”. Startups are supposed to pivot 2,5 times average in their live time.

We first decided to apply a customer segment pivot by offering our product to individuals instead of teams. Secondly, we started exploring how we could simplify work decomposition while allowing to easily track tasks assignments using sticky notes.

What was interesting in our approach, now that we target individuals, is that my business partner Erik and me, we were the first customers that we wanted to satisfy. Being the designer and the customer, the pace of experiments was greatly accelerated. Rapidly, by repositioning the product to better meet our personal needs we also applied a customer need pivot .

A reading that helped a lot to our experiments is the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. This is book that every entrepreneur should read. In a future blog entry, I will cover in more detail why reading this book was central to our decision to pivoting.

The final result is the following. We repositioned the product to meet five new requirements:

  1. Collect and gather future work in a backlog.
  2. Decompose future work in subtasks
  3. Assign or share future works
  4. Schedule and confirm “daily” commitments
  5. Celebrate the achievements of the day

So far, these five requirements  correspond to what we foresee. The journey is far from over. Stay tuned.

Author: mariocardinal

I am the co-founder of To-Do Studio, a software publisher offering online collective workspaces extended with automated guides. As an experimenter and an entrepreneur, I like to seize opportunities that emerge from the unexpected. Since 2004 (15 years in a row), I am a recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award. MVP status is awarded to credible technology experts who have shown a deep commitment to innovation, passion about technology and a strong community spirit. An experienced DevOps and Scrum practitioner, I have spent nearly 30 years designing large-scale information systems. I am the author of the book "Executable Specifications with Scrum" and the host of the Visual Studio Talk Show, a podcast about software architecture.

One thought on “Customer Pivot

  1. Pingback: Getting a sense of fulfillment | Mario Cardinal

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