Go, Do, Be.


Reflecting on the project that started it all

By: Chris Greacen - 02/13/2023

One of our first big engagements still serves as a model for all of Lab Zero Innovations Inc.'s highest impact work. Our client was able to unlock a huge victory by bringing in a small #team capable of #designing and #delivering a high quality #software #product. Great things can happen when you pair a high #performing team with a huge opportunity and a solid rationale.

    I'm Chris Greacen with Lab Zero Innovations I'm going to tell a couple stories this week about the things we've seen over the years designing and building software products for our clients. We've seen "The Good The Bad and The Ugly". But today we're going to start with the beginning: our first big project, our first real, let's say -- opportunity to operate as the team that we always dreamed of being. An effective small team drives big outcomes through the delivery of good software product.

    It started in 2008. Our first client was a big name -- you've probably heard of them. They do genealogical services. They let you research your family origins.

    Here I am at Pier 38 which is where our family began. You probably know this place, or at least some of the products that came from this place. Some very famous very big names sprang out of Pier 38. They're probably on your phone right now. Lab Zero is not one of those things...

    But the product that we worked on in this particular case, our first one is a big well-known name. They had a problem: they wanted to go public. They wanted to expand their empire and grow their company but their team was already subscribed, already committed to a very aggressive road map. Still, Wall Street analysts did not like the fortunes that this company had. They were not giving favorable ratings to this company as they prepared for their IPO.

    They had two big problems. Problem number one - revenue was tied to number of users (MAUs). And the number of users was flat! Had been flat for years! Unlikely to grow Revenue - that's a big No-No in your IPO world.

    Problem number two - was their product was very skewed toward people who are well documented, families who are well documented through history. Some people live in places where there are records. And the whole product was based on gathering records and connecting records to your family tree. As it turns out, not everybody has well-documented family history for a lot of reasons.

    Someone in the company had a brilliant idea and they said, well if we can build a product that compares people's genetic history -- everybody's got genes... If we can sell this product to our existing users and decouple our revenue stream from our user base, we may overcome the objections and have a very successful IPO.

    And that's where we came in: designing and building a product that fits into their world of the existing product suite, fits into the existing architecture, fits into the existing value prop, and extends that value prop to a new area. It took guts for those people to do that. To plunk down a budget for it. To work with people who are known at least to the decision makers, but still like outsiders.

    Radical success for everybody involved. They took a chance to grow and make something great happen and they needed a team who knew their stuff. And we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. And we definitely knew our stuff.

    Since then we've learned a lot more. I'll tell you about it in the next video. Thanks for watching!

#productdesign #productdevelopment #strategy #ipo #wallstreet #genealogy