So that's what I've been doing : running a Lean Startup
It's encouraging when you come across someone, or a group of someones, who have made similar strategic decisions as you. It reinforces both the decision and your decision making process. Whether it's a technology, methodology or a business model, it's great to know you're on the right track or at least a track worth following.
I've always known PrintPlacer was both a lean and a startup business but I never knew this was a recognised framework for building applications and web applications in particular. I always thought it was a result of circumstances until I came across the AppSumo lean startup bundle. What a find – and in more than just the software included. The additional reading material has already started helping me refine the areas of PrintPlacer that are a little blurry, as well as providing me with some invaluable guidance in formulating the strategy needed to move forward both confidently and intentionally.
So why's PrintPlacer a lean startup?
PrintPlacer began as a solution for a single client. They required a centralised system that would facilitate the control and management of their corporate identity / brand without increasing the load on the marketing department. The internet solved the centralising of the system and PrintPlacer became the solution to carefully manage the brand while delegating the time consuming tasks of creating and ordering all types of marketing material.
The first client was in the automotive sector, however, we quickly realised that PrintPlacer was a solution that most companies could use to achieve significant gains in efficiencies and costs. Since then we've acquired clients in the real estate, manufacturing, advertising, finance and political sectors.
The focus and acquisition of medium to large companies as clients has provided a foundation, all be it a lean one, that has enabled us to continue development and explore new opportunities.
Where to now?
Through the relationships we've built and the time we've spent with marketing departments and advertising agencies, the discussion often moves from the clear advantages of PrintPlacer for the medium to large organisation with multiple departments, branches or franchises to how it could work for the smaller business. This, we believe, is the next opportunity for PrintPlacer.
As soon as we can provide the tools necessary for small teams or individual designers to easily convert their designs (this is currently a PrintPlacer service offered to our clients) into PrintPlacer templates, it will revolutionise the way marketing and advertising agencies handle the repetitive tasks of repeat orders like business cards, flyers and even adverts at different sizes and with slightly different information. This is often 'bread and butter' work which seems helpful in the short-term but seldom advances a business in the direction of it's strategy or vision.
Being a lean startup has put us in the position of hearing what our customers require, as well as providing us with the ability to iteratively develop the solutions that allow the business to offer value and relevant services.
Thanks to the AppSumo team for providing PrintPlacer with the tools and information we need to take the next steps in developing solutions that work both for the customer and our business.
Apart from the books and articles by Eric Reis, Ash Maurya, Babak Nivi, Naval Ravikant, Andrew Chen and Sean Ellis we've already implemented or are in the process of implementing Postmark, Geckoboard, Ginzametrics, Kissmetrics, Crazyegg, Snapengage, Uservoice and Server Density.
Heres to building lean, mean business machines.