One of the hardest things to do as a founder of a startup is to admit when your idea isn't working... your idea about the business, your idea about the product, your idea about the problem! That's exactly where I found myself a few weeks ago. It was time to admit Radi8 was chasing a problem that wasn't very painful. But it's not always the fastest who wins the race... sometimes it's the one who turns around first when they realize they are heading in the wrong direction.
That being said, one of the most exciting things about reaching this phase in your startup is the freedom and excitement of changing direction. After a year of trudging along in one direction you gain a lot of very valuable experience and insight. Some of the most valuable things you develop are relationships with your potential customers. And if you've been paying attention, you should have learned what some of the real, and painful, problems they face look like.
With that information in hand, I made the tough decision to get back to the whiteboard and try a new direction—the pivot.
This time I vowed to spend more effort up front working directly with the potential customers I had already built relationships with. And I also made the decision to use a new tool called UXPin for my mockups, testing and collaboration.
Why a new tool?
I've never used UXPin before but I have used other UI/UX tools like InVision and Balsamiq. Being able to mockup, share and test ideas quickly is critical at this stage. The reason I chose UXPin is their built-in design and collaboration features. I should be able to quickly mockup my ideas and flows using their designer and libraries—without ever opening Photoshop! Once I get the experience sorted out and tested, I can invite my designers in to produce the actual UI and then send everything off to engineering fully spec'd.
So this is the first of many posts I plan to do as I pivot Radi8 from a social selling app to something more like a social demand-gem platform. Follow along if you're interested and let me know if you would like to be part of the beta group to test out the new Radi8 app when it's ready.
Connect with me on Twitter: @MichaelPAshley and @Radi8HQ