Oct 07, 2020
Posted by Kalpit Jain
Building Competitive Advantage with Passion, Patents and Listening to the Customer Needs
Today, Everest group named MyGuide by EdCast a leader in the Digital Adoption Platform.
How did it happen? How did we get in the leadership tier? We are the youngest kid on the leader block. It took us just 4 years to rise and rise and rise. What is the secret to our success?
In three simple sentences, it is: Passion, Patents and Intensely listening to the Customer needs.
Here is a recap of our journey starting from listening to customer needs in 2015, finding a mentor in 2016 to becoming a leading digital adoption platform in 2020.
2015: “You are not listening” – Drinking our own Kool-Aid
in 2015, having raised a fresh round from investors, selected by Microsoft Ventures with $500K cloud credit and recruited world’s top sales trainers, I was super excited about selling “Sales training”. We got Google as a customer for sales training and google cloud gave us another $100K in cloud credit. We were drinking our own Kool-Aid; The “Sales Training” Kool-Aid. Here is a video of where we were before listening to the customer.
“We help refine your 30 second sales pitch and we help you sell better, faster, quicker” was our pitch and it was resonating well with investors. But we were having a hard time finding an enterprise buyer beyond google. While pitching to an e-commerce account, that has just raised $1 billion in venture money, I heard the most important feedback that will change our start-up journey.
You are not listening, We need seller training, not sales training. Our sellers don’t even know how to upload a picture, can your sales training software help them learn our tools?
“You are not listening” came with an anger in prospect’s voice and I could finally understand what is the “pain” that prospect was trying to solve. I was selling vitamins for “sales training” but the pain was in seller “tools training” and not in seller “pitch training”. If I need to win trust and confidence of this prospect I need to focus on solving tools training problem. Thus “GuideMe” was born as a R&D project in late 2015, we did a quick pilot and delivered out first working in-app guides to the prospect in 2016. The fact that we can do both skills training and tools training was our winning card.
2016: Finding a coach, mentor and a GURU
I moved to silicon valley in 2016, from Seattle, in search of finding a coach, mentor and guru. I found Karl Mehta, Founder and CEO of EdCast, as mentor, guru and coach and GuideMe journey became MyGuide by EdCast. Working for Karl gives you Harvard and Stanford MBA experience in just 100 days (while getting paid).
I learnt how to run a B2B business and how to find a SaaS customer who can pay $1 million, working for Karl, Founder and CEO of EdCast.
2017: Finding 1st paying G-2000 customer
For SaaS finding a G-2000 customer, who is willing to deploy software enterprise wide, is the single most difficult step. The security reviews alone run into months. The sales cycle can run into months. You may have 2 person on the call from you side and 20 will show up from the other side. You could spend days just filling up documents after documents.
We finally found one of the world’s leading bank to take a bet on us and our DAP journey moved to enterprise reality. They key to sales was our ability to create and communicate a vision for MyGuide by EdCast. We could combine power of EdCast’s Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and MyGuide DAP (Digital Adoption Platform), present a unique vision and get our buyers excited about what we have to offer.
2018: Winning RFP and patent wars
In 2018 we won a massive RFP and it clearly annoyed our competitor. The legal letters followed. We were hit with both trademark and patent law suits. Startups don’t go after startup blood (with lawyers) but we were receiving cease and desist letters from another start up. How do you fight back? The answer is patents and trademarks.
Patents are like strategic nuclear weapons. You keep them, you show them and they deter competitors from destroying you. Without patents and trademarks competitors can issue cease and desist notices and do everything to obliterate your work from face of this Earth.
Having filed patent and trademarks is what helps you prevent a nuclear war. There is no winner in a nuclear war and as long as you have patents, trademarks you can keep pushing forward. You must invest in patents and trademarks or your hard work will be challenged by lawyers who believe they can destroy competitors with patents.
2019: Winning with Passion and Vision
By 2019, we landed 5 of the world’s top leading financial institutions as our customers. We landed 3 of the world’s biggest healthcare companies as our customers. What was even more important was that customers were willing to take reference calls and give us good feedback. Our customers became our product evangelists and helped us win further.
What really worked for us was passion. We created MyGuide with passion. We were able to sell MyGuide with passion. We were able to service our customers with passion. We were able to delight our customers with passion. Customers and prospects can feel the passion and willing to take a bet on you. With passion you can land on Mars!
Here is a video that demonstrates our customer focused passion:
2020 and beyond: Serve customers with Passion – Keep tinkering
2020 is our best year for MyGuide in terms of revenue and customer adoption.
From 2016 to 2019, We were also able to create and present a vision where MyGuide could work on web, desktop and mobile and could solve “HowTo” problems with amazing ease. We were able to combine power of Learning Experience Platform (LXP) with Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) and present scenarios where only we could shine (e.g. Enterprise wide Google search over ride with LXP and MyGuide).
Today we are working with a manufacturing customer where MyGuide will not only solve digital “HowTo” problem but will also solve real world “HowTo” problems with Computer Vision, AI and ML. The MyGuide “HowTo” solutions are not only limited to the digital world but can extended to the real world. Yes you can assemble Ikea furniture with MyGuide in near future.
We are able to leverage computer vision and our own patent pending algorithms to give real world “HowTo” instructions.
We fundamentally believe that EdCast’s MyGuide with its Digital Adoption Platform and Learning Experience Platform are uniquely positioned to solve HowTo and skilling problems in a post covid-19 world.
We look forward to better listen to our customer needs and deliver customer focused results with passion in 2020 and beyond.
Thank you Karl, for your coaching and mentoring.
Thank you MyGuide team for your amazing execution.
Thank you customers for your trust in MyGuide by EdCast.
Kalpit is an technology entrepreneur and product leader with 20 years of experience in driving customer success with software innovation. A thought leader in digital workflow domain, he is leading efforts to make Future happen now and solve digital workflow problems.