Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The First Year of Sensotrend

It's hard to believe a full year has passed since the first post in this blog.

To recap Sensotrend's first year shortly, I'd say we've gotten plenty of praise and publicity, and learned a tremendous amount about startup business and financing. On the other hand, a year ago I certainly imagined our product to have been launched by now. There has hardly ever been a better time to be a technology startup entrepreneur in Finland, but it still feels incredibly hard to get a company off the ground.

From the start, our worst scenario was that we'd spend all our resources into developing a product and then exhaust when the time came to bring it to the market. We've heard time and time again that this is the most common case for startups, especially so in Finland where engineering has traditionally been the strongest part of any technology company.

So we decided to concentrate our early efforts into communicating our idea to the public. That way, even if we would not succeed, more people would have learned about the need, and the next company implementing the same idea would have better chances of success. In the end, what really drives me personally is the need for a solution. I need the product that combines my data from all the different apps and devices much more than I need to be the one implementing it.

In our incubator we also learned that startups that start by implementing a product almost always fail because their product ends up not meeting the needs of the real users. Rather, the product must be developed together with the end users, constantly validating the assumptions of the engineers implementing the product.

So we have been 'out of the building', as they say in the Lean Startup scene. And we've certainly been out a lot, discussing our product with people with diabetes, doctors, nurses, partner companies and investors. A lot more than we've been inside the building, implementing the service.

Right now I feel we need to get back into the building for a while. We need to take all that we have learned and validated so far, and start working towards a MVP (minimum viable product, another Lean Startup buzzword) that we can give to end users, to take our learning to the next level.

Focusing on product development means saying no to a lot of offered publicity and most likely also to some opportunities to secure more funding. We'll still do our best to get a message out every now and then in this blog or through our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

But our main priority right now is to get a product out for initial test users. We've got a bunch of alpha and beta users recruited, and we'll involve them in every step of the development of the product. If you're a person with diabetes, eager to test cutting edge technology and not afraid to see it break to pieces momentarily, you can still get involved. Just send us an email at info@sensotrend.com.

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