Scenarion is no more. It came abruptly, a couple of days before we were to launch our marketing campaign. Something about securing investor funding. It was completely unexpected, and a major dissapointment to us who had been working very hard for months on our new products and web experience.
I knew the risks of a tech startup going in, and communicated the risks loudly to the team while I was there. I find it's best to be realistic about risk, and to focus on continuous improvement in short bursts. This way, even if the big win is cut short, you still end up with minor wins.
Scenarion had minor wins. We released a mobile product (Rendezvue on iOS and Android), a desktop product (SpacePlan) product, and a website complete with an integrated customer discovery program which enabled people to try out our software and provide feedback. We saw organic traction, and had people signing up before we had even finished integrating our product delivery pipelines. We had also worked with a marketing consultant who helped us to identify our strengths, targets, and market differentiation, and we finalized a market validation strategy.
Our plan was to use the next could of months to validate our product-market-fit and gauge our traction (using the bulls-eye method from the book "Traction"). Our operational budget looked good, and we figured six months of marketing validation would be enough to adequately test if Scenarion could attract the type of traction and user base to warrant us continuing along the path of VR tools for early-stage architecture. Unfortunately, this was cut short.
The biggest thing I learned from this experience is how important investors are to early-stage startups. If your core team is not meeting face-to-face with your investors regularly, you are not secure. Your investors should be included in the strategy, and they should want to be be informed of every pivot.
Internally, I couldn't be happier with the team development over 2018. The experience of a jelled, productive, agile team is a great feeling. It felt like every month we were accomplishing more than the previous. We had our share of hiccups, of course, but solve them as they came up as a group.
It was a short run, but very rewarding in terms fo my personal growth. It was a privilege to be with such a talented and hard-working group!
Favourite books from this chapter of my life are documented in my post on my favourite engineering management books.