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Case study analyzing the development of Spanish startup Lazzus throughout Google Launchpad Barcelona.

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  • Lazzus www.lazzus.com Industry Mobile app for blind people

    Founders and team Lazzus is one of the creations of Neosentec, an Asturias-based startup focused on building augmented reality (AR) apps for users and companies. Pedro Javier Sez, Carlos Gonzlez and Pablo Soto are its founders, all engineers with a technical background.

    The app allows blind people to identify business and points of interest in their surroundings through sounds played via headphones and similar hardware.

    Prior to Google Launchpad, Lazzus was al-ready in the middle of a beta testing program of its app for blind people, letting 30 users try an early version of the application to receive feedback and improve the product.

    However, they soon realized that given their target market they needed to better explain the product, the problem they solved and the added value it provided.

    Most users dont care about the technical details of your product. Focus on explaining its main assets via story-

    telling*

    Based on the feedback they received during the program, Lazzus substantially changed its marketing and go-to-market strategy, as well as other product related aspects in asso-ciation to pricing and tracking of metrics.

    BARCELONA 2015

    Turning complex products into stories

    Product UX/UI Marketing Tech

  • *Storytelling

    When it comes to persuasion, compa-nies have traditionally appealed to the left side of the brain logic, pricing, specs. Emotion, however, has proven to be the better marketing tool

    The Seven Deadly Sins of Startup Sto-rytelling - Andy Smith

    *Go-to-market strategy

    An overall strategic and tactical frame-work for your GTM

    Michael J. Skok - Harvard innovation lab

    What were they focusing on prior to Google Launchpad?

    As aforementioned, prior to Google Launchpad Lazzus was already beta testing its app with a group of 30 users. This provided them with key information on how blind people could take advantage of the app and the strongest and weakest parts of the product.

    None of these users were paying for the app, and thus Laz-zus did not have a clear pricing strategy. As the founding team admitted, they needed help in three key areas:

    Marketing: how to communicate the product to potential users

    UX: make Lazzus easier to understand and use

    Product: pricing

    By the time the team got to the program, theyd already set a launch date for Lazzus: May 30th. This date remained unchanged by the time the program finished. However, due to potential agreements with ONCE and Vodafones foun-dation, the launch date was pushed back a few weeks.

    What feedback did they receive from mentors?

    Feedback from mentors mostly focused on the three areas described above.

    Marketing and UX:

    Lazzus main issue coming into the program was in how they explained the product to potential users. They used the following description:

    Lazzus uses a field of virtual vision that we use to trans-mit auditive information related to geolocated points of in-

    terest

  • Based on feedback from mentors, who consid-ered this explanation very technical and not user friendly, the company changed it to:

    Lazzus helps blind people perceive static points of interest in their surroundings

    This explanation, as we will describe in the next two points of this report, continued to evolve and improve throughout the program. The com-pany was also adviced to use storytelling tech-niques to explain its offerings. Daniela Rubio, a visual impaired woman with vast experience in the field of UX, also helped Lazzus improve relevant areas of the product. Especially in how certain features worked and how they were not accessible enough for peo-ple with visual disabilities.

    Product:

    Product mentors Javier de la Ossa and Diego Martn put a lot of emphasis on Lazzus pricing strategy and tracking of metrics. Before the event, the team had not established a series of KPIs or metrics to track on a weekly or monthly basis. These very same mentors also recom-mended the team to change its pricing strategy, moving from a monthly subscription plan to an annual one.

    We knew metrics were important, but we were not tracking them on a regular basis, says CEO Pedro Javier Sez. Now we are doing it to know which product areas need more work and how to improve them. This would also help the startup know which features users use the most, thus affecting its marketing and commu-nications strategy.

    What did they discover during Google Launchpad?

    Throughout the program the team discovered that they had not been tracking customers opinions about the product and the way they

    used it. They also found out that the way they explained the product was too focused on in-vestors or people with a technical background, instead of the end users of the app.

    What is their new focus or action plan following Google Launchpad?

    At the end of the event, these are the measures Lazzus would take to improve their app.

    Use storytelling: build a story that touches people and that clearly shows the advantages of using Lazzus

    Explain the product by showing how it can be used: the team ended up developing a new ex-planation of Lazzus, asking users to cover their eyes and imagining the sounds the app would provide with relevant information about businesses and points of interest in their surroundings

    Change its go-to-market strategy*: Lazzus ex-clusively focused on the end user, not paying enough attention to decision makers (family members, tio technologists) or inuencers (associations of visually impaired people) who might have more purchasing power.

    If you are interested in following the progress of Lazzus and which path or paths they end up exploring, you can check their progress on their website and Twitter profile.

    How can I use this in my startup?

    As important as product development is for ear-ly stage companies, so is the way those prod-ucts and services are presented to its potential customers, who in many occasions are not tech-savvy. Storytelling and similar techniques -as described in the referenced articles- are an effective way to present not only a startup, but also what they do and offer.