by our Head of Story, Leah Sarich
What is product?
Well, it’s kinda everything.
It’s what you’re offering your customers to gain traction in the market. It’s what will take your company to the next stage.
Yet many entrepreneurs struggle to understand:
Is it the right time for us to launch our product into the market to achieve our desired outcomes?
Why is our product not gaining the desired traction in the market we’re already in?
These are problems that if not solved, can make or break a business.
That’s why we designed a Product Traction service that can help. We’re entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that, so you don’t have to.
In order to determine the obstacles you need to overcome, the Product Traction team will come to deeply understand your business and your desired outcomes. “It’s the opportunity for us to lean in with the venture and very explicitly understand their customer now, and the customer they want to serve in the future, to understand their business now and where they see themselves in the future,” explains Chief Growth Officer Mitchell Gillespie. “Then, we figure out how we can get them there faster from a product, data and growth perspective that’s paired with our software engineering team.“
Our team’s broad range of entrepreneurial experience allows us to quickly determine common barriers to your venture’s growth.
And the goal is to set ventures up to grow on their own. Our Software Development Lead, Rosemary Sanchez, uses the analogy of a kitchen renovation to explain how the Product Team will engage, execute and then exit.
“A homeowner hires a contractor to redo their kitchen. But if the contractor kept all the keys, didn’t explain how the new appliances work and made the kitchen unusable to the homeowner unless they called the contractor for help, that wouldn’t work. Instead, with the PT team, you’ll know how to use the kitchen and all the new appliances including the new ice maker, and you’ll be able to make margaritas on the fly without ever needing to call us.”
“Some of the best moments with our founders is when we talk about when we’ve failed in the past...” --- Mitchell Gillespie, Chief Growth Officer, Thin Air Labs
It’s about setting ventures up for future success by understanding their business, listening to their concerns and helping them quickly execute on the opportunities in front of them.
“Some of the best moments with our founders is when we talk about when we’ve failed in the past,” says Mitchell.“ It’s fun to take those stories and turn them around to the venture and say, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do this, we know how to fix it.‘“
This candor is something Erik Westblom, CEO of Provision, really appreciates. “Quite frankly it’s been a fantastic engagement, the team is great.” Provision is software that uses simple digital forms to automate food safety and advance quality control. Erik wanted the PT team to help them address the opportunity of a rapidly growing customer base. They weren’t sure how to prioritize what to build next.
“They’ve helped with a number of process changes, personnel feedback, coaching on everything from running meetings to sequencing development sprints,” says Erik, “but the biggest thing to me…. the roadmap priority in terms of revenue. Don’t guess on what to build next. Build the thing next that has the highest revenue correlation.”
At Intergen, where they connect scale-up businesses with accomplished business talent to reimagine Alberta’s economy, the Thin Air Product Traction team was brought in to help them develop the next version of the technology they had to support their matching program. But it
turned out to be a bit more than that.
Sandi Gilbert, Intergen's Managing Partner, says, "If we would not have engaged Thin Air, we would have brought in our own people, we’re probably a little early to bring in our own people, we actually realized we’re not a tech company, we don’t build technology we need technology, so Thin Air allowed us to outsource a lot of the product management of that and allowed us to work on the business.”
And Intergen has brought in the Product Traction team for a second engagement, allowing continued focus on their organization’s future.
These are just a couple of examples of how the Product Traction team can help you accelerate your venture’s growth, and do so quickly.
“There are many moments for a venture when it's critical to deliver urgently," says Mitchell. "We want to work with ventures in a way that will get the job done quickly, and give them the knowledge they need to grow independently and successfully well into the future.”
Here's Mitchell with more on how the Product Traction service works.
And with more successful ventures in Alberta, we’re #BuildingWhatsNext for all of us.
If you’d like to join Thin Air Labs and the Product Traction team, check out the available positions here.