Part of the mythology of startup culture is the pivot – making the change in your product, go to market, channels or technology that jumps you from an unsuccessful business to a successful one. There are tons of startup stories about missed pivots, pivots that came too late, pivots that crashed, and/but, most importantly, pivots that opened the door to growth and success – to the magic land of product-market fit. Today, UXprobe is focused on a pivot – but before I tell you about the pivot, let me tell you about how we got to the pivot.
Benefiting from a hard push
UXprobe is a European startup and we have benefited from a number of European seed programs like iStart from iMinds or innovation grants from IWT or CreatiFi from FIWARE. One criticism one might have of some of these programs is that they dont push hard enough, they are a little too laissez-faire. It seems like an act of kindness to give startups some time and space to figure things out, but in the end it’s not what they need to be successful.
The program that has pushed us the hardest, from all angles, the program that pushed us to take a long hard look at our business, at its model, at its go to market, at its product, is CreatiFi. It wasn’t always a pleasant experience, but we decided to make a big pivot because of the mentorship and scrutiny of CreatiFi.
Pivots are an opportunity, but they are also a huge risk, give up any momentum you had, to find new momentum, take on new technologies and all the risks those entail, go from a solid beta product to an alpha, create new marketing assets, find new channels… That can be a lot of work from scratch – lots of chances to make mistakes at a time when you might not have a lot of cash buffer to make those mistakes.
So, how are we pivoting?
UXprobe as a company is focused on a mission of helping other companies build great digital products that deliver a fantastic User Experience. We have never changed that and even though we are pivoting, our mission remains the same. Before the pivot, our product was an analytics service for measuring User Experience (UX), with the aim of helping product dev teams making their UX better. It had a high barrier to entry, required significant effort to try, and took time to deliver results. We had successful customers but convincing someone to put the effort into overcoming the barriers was very difficult. After the pivot, our product is a very easy to use remote UX testing service that captures videos of users and their screens as they perform a usability test. This new product is easy to use, very easy to try, and delivers immediate results.
Along with a pivot in product we are pivoting our go to market – because it is so easy to try we are developing a ‘growth hacked’ go to market – emails, Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, analytics and tons of automation. With the help of CreatiFi, our growth hacking guides at Bammboo and our sales mentor Luc Robijns, we are covering this new territory as fast as humanly possible.
Did we come to this pivot too late? Was it the right pivot? Only time will tell but we are all excited at UXprobe, we are all working insanely hard, and we don’t have any intention of giving up.