As you may know, our team has been working on this project for about six weeks now. Every two weeks, we’re going to send out a bi-weekly progress report to share updates on our product development, content, and business development.
Our team has been updating each other on our personal lives using “rose, bud, thorn,” which involves sharing the best part of your week (rose), the most challenging part of your week (thorn), and what you’re looking forward to the most (bud). As such, we thought “rose, bud, thorn” would be an efficient way to share the highs and lows of our progress as we navigate the rollercoaster of building software and content.
First of all, let me start with a high-level overview of our strategy. In our article “5 key factors holding small businesses back from joining the data revolution,” Patrick and I mentioned that the top 2 challenges facing SMBs from being data-driven are interpretation and adoption.
By interpretation, we mean knowing what business questions to ask the data and using data to answer them. By adoption, we mean learning the value of data-driven decision-making, which in turn motivates organizations to adopt a culture and system built around data.
To address the interpretation problem, we are pushing out 5–6 content articles every week to educate SMBs on how to distill actionable business insights from their data (e.g. 4 business questions you can answer with google analytics). However, blog posts and white papers are not enough. There are already classes and tutorials on data analysis and yet most SMBs are behind on the analytics adoption curve.
To tackle the adoption problem, we are building an interactive web app with human-centered design in order to remove the friction points that are stopping SMBs from adopting data analytics into their business. The greatest pain points we found — lack of time, bandwidth, and resources to hire an analyst or buy an expensive tool — will be solved by our free web tool that abstracts away all the statistical analysis and simply presents you with actionable business insights.
That’s why, unlike traditional software or ed-tech companies, we are not just building an app or creating educational content. Rather, we’re doing both.
Now that you’re up to speed on the strategy and MVP concept we’re testing, here is a progress report on our product, content, and business development for the past two weeks.
- Thorn: we need a more experienced full-stack developer to lead front-end development and design
- Rose: we’re looking for people with experience in front-end development and UI/UX design to either join the team or help us part-time!
- Bud: we’re looking to push out a MVP in the next month! It’s going to be the first module of our lean analytics web app and will ingest your google analytics website data in order to deliver actionable business insights about your website and its visitors. All e-commerce SMBs have a website where they sell their products and all of them care about their website visitors so we thought this would be a good place to start. Look out for a beta release in the next 4 weeks — shoot us an email at email@example.com if you’d like to test out the beta for free (with your website data). We’d love to get your feedback!
- Thorn: we need more graphics and interactivity in our content
- Rose: we just on-boarded our friend John Sun, a graphics designer, to help us part-time with visual design. Welcome John!
- Bud: we’re looking forward to incorporating more visual assets in our blog posts to align our content strategy with our core principle of human-centered design
- Thorn: we’ve talked to about 70 SMBs now about their pain points, but we’re still working on reaching a community of 100 SMBs
- Rose: we’ve gotten a lot of validation around the recurring 5 themes outlined in our “5 key factors” article
- Bud: we’re striving to become industry leaders in understanding and empathizing with the unique data and technology challenges facing SMBs
So, there you have it. We’re publishing these every other Tuesday, so look for our next progress report on Tuesday 3/7. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback, suggestions, or questions on our strategy. We’re not just building software and writing content — we also want to be the go-to online community for forward-thinking SMBs looking to be more data-driven! Thanks!