Back to the drawing board…

We’re posting this later than we should as the team has been through a pretty torrid time over the last couple of months. 

We love the products we built. We see their potential in transforming shoppers experiences. We think we can help the High Street with technology solutions. We would love to shop using the tools we designed and so do most other consumers we tested our products on.

So anyway, we punched WAY above our weight and got ourselves into some of the biggest retailer boardrooms in the UK. And we learned a lot while we were there.

In summary, and we’re paraphrasing many meetings, the feedback we received was as follows:

"We LOVE! what you're doing. We can see how this would benefit us. Your use of the technology is excellent. But. We can't deal with a startup. It's too risky for us to commit the time and the budget. Thanks for coming and showing us what you've got. Call us again when you have loads of reference sites!"

After getting the same message time and again from just about everyone we did a demo to – our fund raise collapsed (there was no point in carrying on) and we needed to feed back to the team and find out whether we had a plan or not.

Looking back 2 months – we were in a pretty bad way. It’s pretty devastating to hear that your products are on point but the fact that you’re a plucky young startup with no money rules you out of the chance of closing any business. I guess we were looking for our lucky break and it didn’t come.

We asked ourselves:

Did they just say they liked our products just to humour us?

But that wasn’t the case. You couldn’t hide the look on the CEO/Stores Director/Customer Experience Director’s face. They liked what they saw.

They rolled in the people who were going to help us onboard our products with them saying ‘look at this, it’s great and we could really use it, see if you can work with these guys’ – that’s when the wheels fell off. 

These were invariably the budget holders with scarce resources and once they found out that we were a startup – the computer just said no. 

Time, after, time, after, time.

So we don't have a business do we?

Well actually – no.

But yes…

What we learned on our journey were pain points they were experiencing which had been hidden from us up until now as we’d approached the problem from a consumer angle.

We also learned that we’d have to do this ourselves until we were sufficiently credible for them to commit time and budget to.

Our vision of a better world with our products in remained – but the route there was going to be different.

We can write this now we know where we’re going – but to summarise:

  • We now know what we need to do for them to engage
  • We now know what their pain points are and how to solve them
  • We know the products we built were good – we just need to get to them from a different direction.
  • We now know how to do this!