Because i sit here in an AirBnb I rented to the month of August (using a failing AC within the Texas Summer) I figured it will be a great time to do a mental check of start-up life and the transition up to now. Advantageous when you’re sweating from sitting 🙂 Having grown all of us significantly the organization side of things is beginning to feel “normal.” If that’s possible. My co-founder Marissa would say we’re out of your “storming” phase and today into the “normalization” phase in our first year. I now use her Westpoint terminology inside my common speech, confusing friends with such terms as Sitrep, bluf and of course MFIC. I’ll permit her to enlighten you all around the definitions. In my opinion, normalizing the c’s is helping us show we’ve got momentum, synergy and our folks (and internal technology) are typical aligned and the pace is collecting bigtime. Nothing but good things.
In past posts I’ve commented on website, CRE culture, investment and more. In this article I would like to concentrate on customers and how to hear them.
If we first launched beta and began collecting feedback, the response was overwhelming from my initial users. “Change this,” “I don’t under this wording here,” “consider adding X,” “is there a roadmap button to the?” (DOH!). To prospects with tech startup experience I’m sure that’s not new. I for one, having only a humble CRE broker’s background, was quite surprised/impressed because when most people are ready to present you with their assist with this mission. What’s the mission again? Help small businesses make smarter lease decisions.
Ahead of time, I felt compelled to push the vast majority of our website and assumptions from the pure real-estate perspective. I knew we might strengthen the current tech in the industry, and we’re a commercial real-estate product, right? Sure, we’re free and anonymous and many types of a good stuff but we offer a platform that’s CRE based to your users. The whole core assumptions and product architecture/functions were steeped within the real-estate problem-solving mindset. Even as we grew together as a team, we became less and less dependent on these assumptions and more and more engaged from the feedback from my users and folks within the field. This assumption quickly changed, we’re not really a real-estate product, we’re a small business product. How did find that out?
Our caboodling team is otherwise engaged daily hand-collecting reviews in Houston and I’m humbled by their efforts. They’re helping us seed system with real, verified feedback from business decision makers. It’s a vital and foundational objective of ours to recover these experiences. However, I’m amazed at the response we’re getting from retailers, tenants, small businesses whenever they hear our mission, test out system and know very well what we’re about. It’s quite normal for your caboodlers to shell out half an hour one review (that this collection part takes about A minute FYI) since the small business community is definitely so hungry to be heard. This can be a group that’s putting their livelihoods exactly in danger, every single day, to generate their business grow in addition to their personal lives more enriched through their dreams. It’s about damn time someone sat down and heard them.
So that’s what we’ve been doing. Not only coding/testing/building/caboodling and trending hard towards our full release here in the following couple weeks (SUPER excited to show everybody) but simply plain interviewing, listening and gaining knowledge through our core customers. I’ve found out that because your product or service is free of charge doesn’t mean it automatically drops some inherent barrier to entry. Products have to solve down to earth difficulties for down to earth people. This full release I do think encompasses that mantra. We’re going to share it soon.
Even as we grow all of us we all have a job to learn only at Tenavox. Mine is heavily steeped in product, real-estate and methodology. That doesn’t mean we don’t wear fifty other hats too, from fundraising (which never stops haha) to data science, startups would be best at exposing what you are pressurized. Our company (especially the founders) do no matter what to go the ball forward. People enquire about what sort of transition from CRE to Startup in tech goes, if and when they dive right in too making use of their idea? I smile and get this: Could you handle the load of this deadline, the following sprint, sales projections, recruiting, feedback, testing, adjustments, operations, payroll and far much more. When you choose go for it . and build something which matters you in turn become a great deal more responsible. How? Well ideas are pretty much worth nothing, possibly even I’ve learned 😉 It’s all within the execution and the team…and the culture. A solid culture will be the foundation for a strong company.
Turning ideas into reality, together.
For those who have an idea, it’s just yours, you’re only responsible for cultivating the minds themselves. When you start a small business (from an idea) you’re responsible for the investors, (usually friends and family and families hard-earned money), you’re responsible for your people, their efforts in addition to their goals, you’re responsible for your business’s growth, and moving the vision forward every single day…but most of most you’re responsible for yourself. There’s no automatic paycheck or salary to acquire up and hitting that work-day hard, so pick something you have love for. I guess that’s what I’ve learned most. Never underestimate the amount arrange it would be to take up a business, never underestimate how difficult at times might be, the load is off of the charts and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Though if you have love for what you’re doing, if you believe within your mission plus your culture plus your team? This is the best damn thing you’ll do your whole life.
No-one seriously knows where our path may lead. Startups within their very natures are risky ventures. We’ve made educated assumptions and they are just starting to test them out . within a live environment, time, our efforts and the market will dictate a percentage in our success. I understand this, the west will dictate how you lead and how we work together as people…that is certainly something I’m happy with.
Struck me through to LinkedIn or [email protected]
I’d never knock those who don’t need to start their very own business, it’s faraway from simple and easy , oftentimes personal considerations don’t allow it. If you undertake? Speak to your customers, listen and discover. They will let you know what they really want to view and increase your thinking, in most area of your product or service. There exists a new mantra now, “Built for Tenants, with Tenants,” and that we trust that. I understand what we’re doing only at Tenavox is the most rewarding professional experience with my life, and that’s worth equally from the stress, risk and fervour we’re pouring in it every single day. It’s funny, when we started out I wasn’t sure exactly how to border the pain points from the small business operator…Now? Could them because we live them. As well as a wise someone once said, “there’s no alternative to experience.”
We’d a fantastic team development last week in Austin too! Thanks to #escapegame #Galvanize and #Laketravis for hosting us!
Stay tuned in for your full release here in two to three weeks and thank you for reading my ramblings of course.
Feel free to comment below or have a run at a number of the other articles I’ve written chronicling my transition from broker to co-founder.
Have something to say meantime? Struck me through to LinkedIn or [email protected]