Start With Why

3 JAN, 2017
As the new year starts it’s time to look back and recapitulate: what were the goals of 2016? how far we got? what did we learn on the way?

By this time last year we just had a guess that there was a market for a professional customer support tool focused on messaging platforms. We had a basic prototype and a small team ready to devote itself heart and soul to the project. What became clear pretty soon was that there certainly is a market. We talked to many organizations, big and small, and most of them were interested and a big chunk were eager to pay for a service like that. With this promising opportunity we incorporated the company, secured our first financing round of €224K (a mix of BA + corporate + public) and launched hubtype.com.

We were also fortunate to participate in a couple of the best incubators/accelerators in Spain: The Carrot Cake and Seed Rocket. The rest of the time we spent it talking to customers, refining the product and not spending money. Finally, in the last quarter we were thrilled to close our first Fortune Global 2000 customer.

Achieving all these goals makes us really proud, however, the best takeaway from 2016 was the retreat we made in early september to the Catalan Pyrenees. Everybody knows how important it is to take a step back and think about the big picture, but it’s really hard to actually take the time to do it when you’re immerse in a day to day rush trying to get product/market fit. Your mind is just focused on the next call, on the next line of code, anything else feels like you’re wasting time.

The whole team spent three days surrounded by mountains and fresh air, discussing about vision, strategy and goals. But before that, we had to start with why, as Simon Sinek puts it in his famous talk: “Why does your company exist?”. It’s easy to forget the answer to that question, especially for a 100% technical founding team often too focused on product and engineering.
Not surprisingly, reaching a consensus on the answer was pretty straight-forward: we want to live in a world where exceptional customer support is not the exception. And we’re helping the world transition to that future by building software that allows companies and customers communicate effectively on messaging apps. What did surprise us, was the fact that the following questions we asked ourselves were much easier to reason about and to reach a fast consensus when we all had that premise in mind.

We’ve always underestimated the advices that told us to work on the company vision. We thought it was just a nice exercise but one that keeps us from doing “the real work”, just like going to events or writting a blog 😉.

From that angle we redefined our sales message, our product roadmap and our business strategy. Now we face 2017 with a lot of confidence and a new set of goals, one of which is to share our progress and the lessons we learn in this blog.

We hope you enjoy our stories and learn something interesting too!

The Hubtype Team
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