Product Development Pivot

Product development was the catalyst that pivoted our business model, resulting in the release of the first commercial product for the emerging tangible investments marketplace.

Pivot

Our company found ourselves at a cross roads in May of 2015.  We could continue to try and make our total wealth solution work in the face of steep competition, or we could pivot our company direction and narrow our focus to just the emerging tangible investments market.  We decided to take “the leap” and reconfigure our people, strategy and marketing to become a truly agile company.

To pivot our company we had to retool what we were doing and how we were doing it in real time.

Non Commercial Product

We had already built a Collections module that was intended to integrate into our larger Total Wealth Suite.  However, Collections was not only designed for the small niche of private collectors, it was not a commercially viable product.
We had already built a Collections module that was intended to integrate into our larger Total Wealth Suite. However, Collections was not only designed for the small niche of private collectors, it was not a commercially viable product.

The Pivot

For the first six months we engaged in generative research to see if the hunch we had was correct, and tangible assets was a viable market.  The Collections UI lent itself to rapid prototyping, so we prototyped everything to see how other financial concepts worked.  We spent many hours in roadmap sessions, vetting what we understood about family office market needs and incorporating newly gleaned information in real time.  Our marketing efforts were exploratory.  We set up an ideas website, and asked people in the industry to look at it and give us feedback.  Although our company was fairly lean with interdisciplinary teams, we were not agile enough for the task ahead.  We were still in the mindset of longer development cycles, robust feature sets and involved backend initiatives.   

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At six months we reached the inflection point of the pivot, and remarkable things happened.  We quickly built a concise prototype replete with content, and used it for an evaluative research effort with a target audience, moderated for specific needs.  We let go of “boiling the ocean” and defined one product road map with succinct targets to complete the Tangible Assets product that would be a stepping stone to achievable growth.  We built a website that clearly stated product benefits, features, pricing and has an eCommerce engine for customer acquisition.  We gutted our development plan, and just built the technical pieces that would make the product a viable MVP customers could use.


“At our inflection point I simply recalled Saint-Euxpery’s dictum ‘Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away’, and then guided our efforts accordingly.”

– James Shehigian, Managing Director

Becoming Agile

Now that the Tangible Assets product was a clear achievable target, people were galvanized.  The pivot caused a convergence, the cycles of each group became shorter and more synchronized until we became one agile team.

The convergence into one team democratized the process.  Now that we were all in one silo the product direction was no longer driven by one division or another.  Suddenly, content strategy was just as important as database configurations or feedback from research conversations.  Letting go of long linear thinking, and circling back every day is why our story was successful.   

Team Cycle Convergence

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Three Essential Improvements

By taking care of the basics, integrating insights from potential users and thinking generatively we were able to craft a commercially viable product.  

Pivot
The system was lacking several basic task features.  Development honed their focus and got the Duplicate, Generate PDF Report and Export to CSV task bar icons working.

Basic Tasks

The system was lacking several basic task features. Development honed their focus and got the Duplicate, Generate PDF Report and Export to CSV task bar icons working.
Potential users were going to need embedded list functionality to maintain their own lists.  Implementing lists made the system highly configurable and user friendly.

List Functionality

Potential users were going to need embedded list functionality to maintain their own lists. Implementing lists made the system highly configurable and user friendly.
We configured a commercial template specifically for Tangible Assets users.  The layout and content design allows users to intuitively enter different types of assets, such as cars, jewelry and art.

Commercial Template

We configured a commercial template specifically for Tangible Assets users. The layout and content design allows users to intuitively enter different types of assets, such as cars, jewelry and art.

Go to Market Collateral

We worked in parallel to have an eCommerce site ready when the product launched.  Since we had been talking to potential users all along it only made sense to capture this audience.   We facilitated user adoption by creating a straight forward website and easy sign up process.  The Portrait Global website is where customers log on to Tangible Assets.  This continuity makes the user experience seamless and delightful.

Pivot

If you are interested in learning more about Portrait Tangible Assets visit www.portraitglobal.com