Frustratingly Forgotten Companies

Hopping back in the blogging world! Yes, yes, thanks for the welcome back.

I’m immersed again in the joy of startups and entrepreneurship. That now includes so much more perspective in the engineering and product world. My role as a Director of Solutions provides me incredible insight in the “other side” of the house of “building” vs. “growing”. Read: in product vs. sales / growth.

The first topic I want to bring to light comes courtesy and inspiration from a discussion with a colleague about a company / service now in irrelevance. That service was supposed to be the second coming of PowerPoint. That is, to kill how linear and static presentations were. This new, at the time, tool was supposed to be all the rage. It was innovation for presentations and slide decks.

It enabled presenters to more visually engage audiences with visuals that would seemingly go deep into parts of a presentation. It’s like zooming in and out and navigating around a giant canvas. It was “the hotness”. I remember seeing my first presentation with this tool, and I was floored. I thought it was great. So, why doesn’t anyone use it today? Why am I not?

It’s a pretty simple answer, really–it provided little value, and had a high hurdle for adoption.

I signed up for the service trying to create a “cool” presentation. But it was so frustrating trying to create the same effects that I witnessed before. My transitions were not smooth. I didn’t have a clear roadmap of how I wanted to walk the audience through. And yet, I had to get my presentation DONE. I needed to be ready to present in a few short days. I was busy trying to figure out the presentation visuals after completing the initial story and slides. It just took too much work.

The tool was cool. It could snazzy up my presentation. But like how I felt with the presentation I witnessed with this service, would my audience really listen to what I was presenting? Or, would the audience be like me–in awe of this tool.

Many others likely fell into this same trap. It’d be cool, but… I got work to do. My audience needs to get the message, and we all need to walk away with XYZ decisions made.

The user experience of tools are critical to getting a user onboarded and getting to their Aha! moment. But also, there needs to be a clear benefit of using the innovation. It’s like selling blockchain. It’s a “cool” innovation, sure. Or at least, the idea is cool. But what’s blockchain really getting me? More often than not, cool doesn’t cut it in the market. There needs to be clear benefits.