Spoiler alert: this is the first and last Luos article that talks about lockdown. I wrote this article the day after it ended. We have just lived 8 peculiar weeks that drove us to review our way of working, our road-map, our objectives. Our goal was not only to survive but to optimize and adapt our business, our technical development and our marketing to the new situation! At we are coming out of this period positively: we have done business, we have enlarged our community, and we have acquired users. At the cost of some acrobatics and concessions...
End of February: we climb up our startup journey steps
🎶 😎 Everything was going well, no obligation. Thought I'd make a getaway on a chill-out day. A coffee to take away, I got my hair done. Should have been a lovely day, didn't end that way 😎 🎵. In other words, everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds!
- We are in the middle of a roadshow and are touring French investment funds to raise money and finance our development. we are quite young but have an amazing techno, we believe we can do it.
- We go around fairs and events to get known and make contacts. Among other things, we won the Deeptech Challenge at Techinnov, which opened several doors for large accounts and bring us visibility.
- We approach the first discussions with large groups from different sectors: household appliances, automotive, defense, etc. We are planning meetings with their technical or innovation teams. The challenge here is to sign something in order to have material and results we can display to VCs.
- We are about to establish several strategic partnerships with companies in the micro-controller industry. The issue here is our go-to-market. We give to this relationship the royal treatment, the fastest we deal something, the fastest we grow!
March: alone in the business desert
- 03/16/2020: the government announces the beginning of lockdown. We understand things will move more slowly... 😥
- 03/17/2020: all the trade shows are canceled, a large part of our public performances fly away at the same time... 😥
- 03/19/2020: The economy and societies are turning in on themselves. No more people from the large groups with whom we were in discussion answered us. We will not launch any POC (i.e. proof of concept) with any corporate any time soon... 😥
- 03/23/2020: Our future industrial partners are also severely impacted by the crisis and no longer give us any news. One of our strategic development axis is impacted... 😥
- 03/30/2020: The investment funds focus on the companies that are already in their portfolio. We wanted to get closer to lifting in early May but our roadshow is frozen. Our KPIs go down, our promises fly away... 😥
🧘 After making this assessment, and using the "Petit Bambou" app during 2 or 3 minutes to calm us down, here are the questions we have identified:
- Luos is not well known yet. We have to work on our brand image and make Luos famous. How to make the most of this period and not to remain waiting and dependent on external events? How to capitalize on the new habits and the new daily life of our users and our prospects? 🤔
- The business is shattered, our plans are turned upside down, our initial prospects are out for the moment, so who can we do business with? If large groups are getting more or less stopped and hampering their commercial relationships, what about SMEs and startups for which technical development is central? 🤔
- The confinement will not last forever, we will resume or restart our roadshow, what are the friction points and how to eliminate them? How to use this period to come out sexier than ever? 🤔
April: unleash the Pirouette Plan
⚔️ After spending a few sleepless nights in our War Room in the Chartrons district of Bordeaux, we have established a plan:
- To stem the cancellation of trade fairs and various events, we are going to put in place a content marketing strategy and still assert our presence and our brand image. At the same time, we are going to contact the most potential users of our solution to tell them about Luos. The main objective is the acquisition of followers. 😤
- If the period is bad for moving forward with the big groups, let's put ourselves in a position of “co-development” rather than outright delivery, and try to sign contracts with those who focus on their technical development. The situation is the same for every venture, they will focus and dedicate more time to "no-business" tasks, such as technical development! Let's re-connect with all our "small" prospects! 😤
- One of the fears raised during our roadshow was the adoption of our techno by the developers. Rather than going on progressing on R&D and new features, we launched a large-scale test, reviewed the user journey as well as the documentation. Thanks to this, people will know what's Luos, will give us precious feedback, and will be engaged in a relationship with Luos! 😤
Early May: all is well chief!
Because we focused on co-development with small ventures, we are now working and testing three new use cases in New Mobility, Industry and Service Robotics. We made some money and we have refined our customer journey. We are more ready than ever to work with corporate! 💪
We have implemented several measures to grow the community of people who follow Luos. We added CTAs on all our marketing materials, like our website, our LinkedIn page, our docs, our forum, our newsletter, our mails... We mainly try to encourage people to subscribe to our news or to chat with us using contextual forms or chatbots. Because we focused on Community and content, we have doubled the community that follows the Luos project. We are deeply convinced that when you propose developing tools the first success key is to be near developers! 💪
Until then, using Luos was not that easy. It required users having a high level of commitment. Partly because the embedded ecosystem is complex and part of our fault. We managed to divide the time required to test Luos by ten! We're not far from "one-click installation"! Because we focused on the user experience, we have doubled the number of Luos users. Indeed, despite improving features, we improved onboarding. The main issue was to make the Luos test the easiest as possible! 💪