Series: Why we love our customers
Most startups are happy to have users. At LaunchPad Central, we are fortunate to have an extremely engaged customer base eager to want us as a company to succeed. This drives us to move faster and work harder. Given the cadence at which we operate, we wanted to pause and share with you what we have heard from you, what we have done, and what we are working on for you. The areas we have received the most input on include:
Overall User Interface and Experience (UI/UX)
Business Model Canvas (BMC)
Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas…
User Interface and Experience
Yes, we know. This is where we have the most work to do. This is where we have the greatest potential for improvement. This is what differentiates a prototype from a product. And this is where we are allocating our resources. Our team is feverishly working on incredible things ranging from easier data entry, to personalized application views, to better data visualization tools. Excited? So are we and we look forward to your feedback.
Summer is usually associated with relaxation and time-off. That’s nice, but we will be working harder than ever to deliver the greatest experience possible to our valued customers. We know they aren’t taking a break, or slowing down, and we want to equip them with the tools that will help them change the world. So keep an eye out for changes this summer, coming to a screen near you.
Business Model Canvas (BMC)
As one of the pillars of the Lean LaunchPad methodology, the BMC is a critical touch point for all of our customers. Perhaps the most intimidating time is the initial population of the BMC. The number of clicks it took to completely fill a BMC was creating friction. We spoke with many customers to find an improved workflow that would allow entrepreneurs to spend less time clicking, and more time talking (with customers). Again, our next release greatly reduced the number of clicks, and made the overall workflow more straightforward as was confirmed by customers sending us Thank You notes..
The messaging functionality was originally built to allow teams to ask their mentors and instructors for help. This initial scope was extremely narrow and we did not consider this as a core component. However, we quickly discovered that the messaging feature was the primary touch point for mentors, and soon found ourselves flooded with requests to improve its usability and utility. Thanks to our agile development team and rapid usability tests, we were able to release an updated version of Messaging.
Immediately, we received glowing responses on the improvements made. While attending a Berkeley Lean LaunchPad class, one of the mentors made sure we knew how much he “loved’ the changes we made, and that is precisely the reaction we aim for.
The unsung heroes of any LLP program (whether at a university, in an accelerator, or part of a government program) are the admins and coordinators working tirelessly behind the scenes to provide teams with the best chances of success. The last thing they need is software that makes their lives more difficult. From frequent conversations, we have quietly built powerful tools that allow them to operate autonomously without the need to depend on our (awesome) support team. While certain aspects such as the management of user accounts have been addressed, we have even more exciting plans to create a zero-touchpoint process.
As our customer base has grown, so has our investment in engineering and site performance. When we released the Presentations feature (another much loved feature), allowing teams to collect and provide feedback to each other in a centralized repository, we drastically increased the concurrent usage load on our site. Upon witnessing performance issues first-hand, and hearing the same thing from distant customers, we buckled down to optimize speeds in key areas. We realize we are no Google yet, but we have improved performance by 10X and will continue to work on this area further.
Now get out of the building,
The LaunchPad Central Team