Yellow & Green

This summers’ international music hit Shotgun by George Ezra triggered a Twitter (& Reddit) discussion with regards to the phrase “Time flies by in the yellow and green, stick around and you’ll see what I mean”. Of course when an author talks in mystery so plainly there is bound to be discussion. As the argument goes, some figure it refers to the countries below the equator (Brazil and Australia) where time passes quickly due to the big fun under the hot sun. Others interpret it as the seasonal cycles passing away so quickly. And of course (as we are used to by now in this age) there are many other explanations to be found on the internet.

Time flies by…

Anyhow, this phrase also describes my last two months, interviewing e-commerce managers, industry experts, technical managers, conversion specialists, and a whole bunch of other people. Time literally flew by as we’ve been exploring customer problems and testing our problem & product hypotheses.

In the yellow…

This resulted in many rejected and falsified hypotheses, leaving us sometimes (admittedly) disappointed, sometimes in despair, but in most cases eager to press on to find the real problems out there. Eric Ries [1] would call this a pivot; “A structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis…”. This led to us to some very valuable insights including:

  • Mono/Multi-brands focus heavily on customer segmentation and connecting their product/company values to this customer segment, making segmented website content a priority over personalization software.
  • Large re-sellers, wholesalers and marketplaces that do struggle with matching the big product inventory to individual customers/small customer segments already use large Data Management Platforms (DMP’s) and Digital Experience Platforms (DXP’s), that are not necessarily offering the best services, but offer a connected platform that outweighs the benefit of implementing a smaller but better product personalization software.

Luckily these insights did not only prevent us building a product nobody would want, they also shed light on problems worth further exploration. Key is to keep a keen eye on our own passion and product vision and not get dragged into a problem that we are not thrilled about fixing (one of the biggest pitfalls of the Lean Start-up approach).

And green…

Fortunately lots of the conversations have been very big green ups (the brilliant green Alpen mountain sort). We have spoken to so many inspiring people that were very willing to talk to us. Some of the conversations literally left us dancing home…, or humming Shotgun in the subway. I am really amazed at how many people believe in the philosophy of sharing, building together and looking for collaboration, rather than keeping information to themselves and not entrusting any insights to “outsiders” (and yes, those also exist, but won’t make it in the long term I suppose).

Stick around and you’ll see what I mean…

There is still lots to do and many more problem & product hypotheses to falsify (or accept). Make sure to stick around as I will be posting many of our insights online soon.

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