People, Product and Possibilities – the tripod of a successful software start-up.
I often get asked, ‘what’s the key to success?’ It’s an interesting question to me because success is defined subjectively, but when I apply that question to Viewpath (Project Management SaaS company) I can refine my response down to the three Ps.
For a start-up organization, this is the most critical component. You need the right people on the team to move the business forward. The right people aren’t just Rockstar’s in their chosen field, but they have to have had some experience/understanding of a startup business. We do things very differently when we are starting, and each team member is required to have a broad skill set. A jack of all trades. There is very little room to say ‘that’s not my job’ in an organization our size. My greatest desire for my team is that they are adaptable, approachable, coachable and community minded. We can figure out the rest. I recently did a podcast with Jeff Hyman about this very topic so you can listen to more of my thoughts about recruiting the right people here
As a cloud based product company, this one is relatively self-explanatory, but allow me to elaborate. Every startup company thinks they have a great product, after all, that’s why we ‘start-up’ to begin with, right? But what truly makes a great product? In my opinion, there are a few key questions to ask yourself:
- How has the product been built?
- How is it and how will it be maintained?
- What’s the future roadmap look like?
- Who is responsible for the development of that product against the future roadmap?
- Are Marketing, Sales, and Development in alignment?
- What is the user interface/user experience like?
- Does the interface need improvement and is that factored into the roadmap?
- Is there a product owner who can translate customer feedback into future development and enhancements?
- And mostly, what is the problem the product is trying to solve.
To me, that last point is the most important. If we don’t understand our customers and their use cases, then how can we develop a solution to their problem. Being in the product industry is being a problem solver and we are super proud of the problems we have solved for our customers. You can see how we helped The Perlan Project here.
Last but definitely not least are the possibilities. Most of the time the possibilities have been defined prior to creating the product. Determining the market size and potential penetration of the market, the customer use cases and the SWOT analysis. I am talking about the ideas and possibilities beyond that. Thinking outside the box with the product. Taking it to market in a completely new and innovative way. Finding a rare and untapped vertical where your competitors don’t exist. Creating truly mutually beneficial partnerships. All of those ideas are ways to accelerate your software startup to success. Identifying these possibilities is really difficult, but with a great team and a well-defined product that solves a problem in the market, your halfway there.
Thankfully for us here at Viewpath, the possibilities are endless for project management software and beyond. We have this great team which is building out our product not just for our current customers and use cases but for many new possibilities in the future. Because of our size, we can develop with agility that many other larger companies cannot. We also have a product owner that is also responsible for customer success and while that is a BIG role, it allows us to tie in customer feedback directly into the product development cycle to produce an even better Saas product. We have loyal customers who we love and nurture (and always will). And last but not least (and because I have had a long career in sales and marketing) we are a team of people who are so excited about our product and possibilities that we can’t help but talk about it. We want to shout it from the rooftops. We love to help people and we know this product can REALLY help project managers, program managers, and project coordinators. Our brand line is, ‘Changing the world, one project at a time’ and we believe that, wholeheartedly.
If you’d like to learn more about Viewpath, you can here
President & CEO