Best sellers in the making
Published On: 28 December 2016
If you’re not associated with Products, you’ll probably have one of the above opinions about the Products team. I don’t blame you. We aren’t a boastful lot after all. Well, most of us aren’t; I am. And I feel that everyone ought to know what we do.
We’re in the business of telling stories. And every day we work to make ours a bestselling one. We have a vision to begin with – an abstract idea which we think will make the world a better place. But visions don’t seem quite tangible. As one of my teammates likes to put it, “The idea is to wrap a vision in a certain amount of reality”. We make that reality. Building it brick by brick (or rather <div> by <div>) till it’s not just a story anymore – it’s a revelation, one which will make the solution apparent.
Our Business – Turning stories into revelations
Enterprises, more often than not, don’t realize what they need to solve their business problems. Our job is to narrate a story which will make them aware of the difference between what they think they need and what they actually need.
If they approach us for finding the answer to the question “Which is the fastest animal in the jungle?” there is little value in telling them that it’s a cheetah. Instead of jumping to an answer, one of the things we need to understand is whether they are trying to win a marathon or a sprint. The greater value addition is in telling them the story of the tortoise and the hare to make them realize that tortoise would win the marathon even though the hare is the faster animal! If they’re trying to understand if 5% discount would work better than 10%, there is little value in giving them a number. The greater value addition is in narrating the story of experimentation so that they discover which discount works by actually testing it themselves.
The product muXSquared is doing just that.
Narrating a good story has a lot to do with knowing your audience. We need to step into the clients’ shoes and see the world as they see it. Every little detail introduced in the product is a reflection of how well we manage to empathize with them. That, after all, is the difference between a story which is bestselling and one which isn’t. It’s the difference between “Two boys went to a shop” and “Ram and Shyam, their pockets jingling with a week’s worth of savings, stepped into the bakery at the end of the street, mesmerized by the new trays on display”. The difference between displaying the cost as “2000000000” and “$2,000,000,000”.
We are like “a 3-year long pilot”
Building this narrative is not a one-time task. The story needs to be told and re-told, so that it doesn’t end up in the dusty archives.
Creating a product is an iterative process – it’s not just one round of coding and a lot of rounds of bug fixing.
Being a part of a product team is like being in, what my teammate likes to call “a 3-year long pilot”. It is unchartered territory – you don’t have a map to tell you which turn to take next, nobody to validate whether the right move to make at this stage is developing that Export to PDF feature or porting to that new database system. You need to foresee what your clients will require next even if they don’t see it yet.
We aren’t just striving to sell our products to the clients we come across. We’re striving to propagate the vision behind each of these products to the entire business world
People often ask me, “How many clients have you sold your product to?” They’re sadly missing the point. Although we derive immense pleasure from each and every license we sell, that’s not our end goal – that’s not our motive at all.
We aren’t just striving to sell our products to the clients we come across. We’re striving to propagate the vision behind each of these products to the entire business world. The end goal of muPDNA and muUniverse will be achieved if and only if the world adopts the Art of Problem Solving; muXSquared will truly succeed only when companies start making decisions based on Extreme Experimentation rather than intuition; muRx will have succeeded when analysts come out of the tangles of syntax and code for their computation needs and instead focus on the algorithms they need for solving their business problems. These are just a few ideas Mu Sigma products are trying to propagate, the list is a lot larger than this.
We don’t, well … sell. We sell well!
The idea of propelling these visions may appear to be far fetched at the outset. But take a moment to think about how our problem solving approach has evolved. The muPDNA is a living, breathing example of how far our visions can take us. Each and every client associated with Mu Sigma is aware of our unique Art of Problem Solving. The muPDNA tool is making that happen. If you let the implications sink in, you’ll realize that Mu Sigma has managed to create a whole new class of products in the market. So let’s have a little faith – the magic which our products are creating will soon transform how businesses tackle their problems.