Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
John F. Kennedy
Nothing can be more true in technology than what is said in the statement above and by telling the story of our company, I think a lot of lessons can be taken from it in terms of building a product and taking it to market.
Some of you reading, being our close friends or people we’ve talked to while just getting started, will know how we began and you played a big role as early adopters for us to understand what we can do to make your lives better.
Early adopters are the lifeblood of any company, where focusing on building a small base of people who love your product is infinitely more valuable than aiming to build a massive base of users who may use your product occasionally, or not at all. Why is that? Because user retention is key and that small number of users become your product champions, they know it inside out, use it every day and they love it so much they tell all their friends, who take their word for it and use it also. Slowly your small base turns into a big one, the difference is now that this big user base all love your product and by maintaining a continuous loop of feedback with them, your product will always improve and solve many more of their needs which you may not have expected.
At inVibe we began with a gift giving application connecting users to retailers and allowing them to buy products and send to their friends using their smartphones. The gifts would be redeemed in store using QR codes the receiver gets, along with details of the store it’s located in. By maintaining this continuous loop of feedback we found that the brands we had were great, the user experience was too, but most of our users (98% of them) would just use it to buy stuff for themselves and redeem them when they passed by the store. By building that small base of users and constantly iterating our product in small batches based on continuous feedback, we found we were solving a lot of their problems, however none of them had anything to do with buying gifts. We had built a mobile payments app without wanting to, and we only found out the true potential of what we had by getting out of the building and putting our product out there.
As a company our mission is to always put the customers first in everything we do. Being open to change based on that and embracing it as an opportunity for growth is what keeps us going.