We get really excited about helping founders grow their business. In fact, it’s a core value at Thin Air Labs… to be founder first as we ignite their venture growth. This startup support is offered in several ways, including with our Product Traction Service.
The Product Traction team is focused on helping startups build excellent products or platforms so their businesses can grow. Oz Nazilli, Product Traction Lead, explains “this PT service centres around how the venture uses software to further their business goals.”
Our team of experienced startup builders will start with strategy and research to ensure the right product is being developed, then they’ll build a product or MVP based on that research and finally, they’ll use data and analytics to determine how best to update the product so the business can continue to grow and serve more customers.
“From strategy, to software design, engineering to execution, we want to build something together with the founder that’s useful,” says Oz. “We customize what we do to match the needs of the founder and their venture.”
And those founders can be at the ‘idea on a napkin’ stage, but more often, they’re a startup that has received some funding but isn’t achieving their goals as quickly as they would like, or they’re a scale-up that needs more engineering horsepower to grow more quickly.
“We help startups start up,” says Katie Underwood, Product Manager on the PT team. “We help ventures where they’re at. We could help a venture who knows where they want to go, but doesn’t have a clear path on how to get there. Or the venture could be on the path, but there’s a specific obstacle blocking the way. Or, the venture is a well-oiled machine and they need some very specific tactical help to allow them to go even faster.”
Whatever the size of the venture, the PT team will always start with deeply understanding the problem the founder is trying to solve, and the business outcomes they want to achieve. Engagements are customizable and typically include:
- Discovery - before writing any code, ideas will be researched and prototyped with the PT team to ensure the right product is being built
- Design & Build - flexible and efficient, human-centric design and lean development, guided by an experienced and multidisciplinary team
- Growth - focused improvement of the product to reach business outcomes, supported by experienced data, analytics, sales and marketing experts
And every engagement will reflect Thin Air Labs’ core values of deep founder empathy and collaboration.
“Collaboration is key,” says Katie. “We build in small increments, working in close collaboration with the venture, because everything we’re doing is to set the founder up for independence and to serve their vision for their venture.”
For example, the Product Traction team recently partnered with Included by Design, an accessibility consulting firm, on their first product, Krooshl, which connects certified accessible venues with the people who need them.
The PT team worked with Sean Crump, the founder of Included By Design, to ensure they were building the right product to help grow their business.
“They helped us with a proof of concept, they really helped us work through a development process, and ensure that we were actually making the right decisions, before investing in the development itself,” explains Sean. “It created a bit of confidence for us and allowed us to make sure as we pursued the development and engaged in the more expensive pieces, that we were putting our money in the right places.”
Katie says, ”We work really hard to build a relationship with the startups we partner with, so that if we need to have a hard conversation, it’s coming from a place of trust and care for the founder and their vision. We don’t want them to spend a bunch of money on something that has a low probability of success. We want to work together with the founder, to figure out the most effective way forward.”
Working with Thin Air’s Product Traction team is not transactional, explains Charlotte Hamilton-Warr, Product Manager on the PT team. “Prioritizing relationship-building is a differentiator for us,” says Charlotte. ”We become more like a part of the startup’s internal team, rather than a firm outsourced to do a piece of work. Oftentimes, this means the engagement is more enjoyable and everyone is happier with the results.”
And those results mean founders have a solution that is connecting well with their customers now and into the future. “What we leave behind is not a PowerPoint deck,” says Oz. “It’s an actual working product that founders can use to further their business.”
That’s the goal - helping startups get to the next stage of growth. It’s about ensuring founders are able to give their gift to the world, and #BuildWhatsNext.
If you want to learn more about the Product Traction service and how it could help build your business, contact the team.