Written by Michael Dijkstra on 18 Mar 2013
Just over one year ago I sat down and started building Storyberg with the aim to create a Lean Product Management tool. It began as a side project of mine and within a few months I started using it at Pollenizer. A few months later all the teams at Pollenizer dropped JIRA and started using Storyberg on a daily basis.
In January 2013 we both went full time. By that time, over 120 people had signed up, however the data showed that we were the only ones to validate our features. People signed up but were only using our tool for task management, not hypothesis validation.
We decided that we did not want to build another project management tool that’s got a better design/UI so we pivoted (for lack of a better word) to focus on the validation part of the lean startup workflow. We quickly relaunched our product as an analytics tool.
Our pitch was:
“Google Analytics tells you something happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it, Storyberg tells you who did and why”
Over the next couple of months we learnt there was not enough value in the ‘why’ on it’s own, without all the extra stuff attached to the ‘who’ which services like KISSmetrics offers. At the time, we did not have the resources or desire to build all the baseline features of a product like KISSmetrics and then add our own unique value proposition on top.
It was time to make another tough call and we asked ourselves a lot of different questions. For example could we add something like a direct action onto the end of the analytics? No, this would provide the same product as services like Usercylce, Totango or Vero.
In the end, as a team, Kevin and I believed we had exhausted our possibilities with Storyberg and did not have anything else to firmly ‘pivot into’. The Lean Startup methodology is a process that requires discipline, and we can’t put a tool around this process. The solution to solve the problem we set out to tackle, ‘Help people validate they’re building something people want’, is an education play and this is not a direction we want to go in. The alternative would be a consulting play, but this isn’t going to build a scalable global business.
So today, we made our final call and we are closing down Storyberg.
Thanks to everyone for their support and in particular all the mentors from Startmate.
[Insert Sad Penguin]