What is GliderPath and how it came to be
GliderPath is a management tool for translation and localization project managers. It is the result of 6 months of research and talking to the market to understand their needs. However, putting it like that doesn’t do enough justice to the incredible experience of a wonderful collaboration process with potential partners and customers and the amazing people we connected with through our initiative. So we would like to let you know the details of what went on behind that marketing phase and how, together with our customers, we conceived and are creating a product that is truly tailored to their needs.
Before getting into it, we would like to let you know a little bit more about our motivations so you understand where we come from.
When we first started back in December 2013, we had no idea what we were going to build, we had no investors and we were not sure which market we would target. We did, however, have very clear in our minds what we wanted to give. Our goal, when we first started, was to give massive value by helping people simplify and unburden their day to day work so they would have more time to create and enjoy the lives of their dreams. What was true then is still true now, and this is the principle on which GliderPath TMS is based.
Why and how we chose this industry
Once we knew what we wanted to give, it was time for us to choose the right market. This was a make or break decision for us because we didn’t want to make the mistake of focusing only on revenue and potential for growth, and find ourselves working in an industry that didn’t inspire or motivate us, ending up gradually losing interest in making it work. We chose the translation and localization industry not only because we have background knowledge and experience in it but also because it hits all the green lights for us:
- It gives us the chance to meet incredibly interesting people and experts – passionate tech savvy professionals, seasoned business owners and managers, visionaries and accomplished entrepreneurs.
- We love what the market stands for – removing language barriers, connecting cultures and giving access to information to billions of people worldwide, from the business owner to the diplomat to the stay-at-home mom.
- We enjoy a good challenge! And creating a truly useful and easy tool for such a demanding audience certainly is one.
Where the idea came from and how we validated it (hint: you!)
So what could we possibly bring to the industry? In all honesty, we didn’t know. You see, the conventional way to start a business is to dream up a sweet idea, build the product, and then go and find customers. That’s why so many startups fail and most people think entrepreneurship is risky. We decided to turn this concept upside down, and instead of coming up with some product and then pushing it onto people, we decided to just to go to our potential customers and ask them questions: what are your problems? What are the issues you come up on a day to day basis? (Some of you have probably received and email or a phone call like this from us already!).
We wanted to create a successful business without starting with a grand idea of our own. We wanted to start by finding a problem to solve. For us, the best way to start a business is to extract the challenges and ideas directly from the market, instead of assuming that we know what the market needs. By listening to the problems, pains, and frustrations many business owners are experiencing on a daily basis, and asking them what solution they would like to have, we were able to find a pattern which automatically led us to the idea. Now we had the idea. Nothing special so far, right? You have ideas all the time. Everyone does. But this wasn’t our idea, it was an idea presented to us by the people we talked to!
Next, we wanted to make sure that we got it right. We sketched an idea of a solution, we went back to the people we had talked to and asked them if they liked the solution we sketched. We asked and were given an incredible amount of invaluable feedback. And slowly but surely, working together with our potential customers, GliderPath TMS started to take shape. In this way, we were able to start creating a tool that, while on the surface looks similar to some other tools out there, in reality, it is truly tailored to the actual needs of the potential customers we targeted. We were able to come up with a simple yet powerful solution for a real problem! A feat we could not have possibly achieved on our own.
Our founding members – The real rock stars!
At this point, we needed to test our business idea before we started the development, meaning: we wanted to make sure this solution was good enough for our potential customers and to prove that the problem was big enough that the solution was worth building. So we decided to partner with the people who had the problem we were helping to solve. The way we did this was by creating an early adopter’s program asking our prospects to join us and help us make a dent in their challenges. The people who joined our early adopter’s program were forward thinking business owners of translation companies that committed to implementing the software as soon as it launched while receiving all the benefits of a tailored product (and much more!). They are the real rock stars for us since by talking to them we learned a lot about the business and about the industry and, most importantly, they are the ones helping us to solve a pain for them and the rest of the industry. This is the best kind of validation we could have.
If you want to know more about our Early Adopter’s Program, you can find information here. It will be open until the date of our first public release.
Lessons learned and future
We are here to solve people’s problems and we do this by working with our customers in understanding their problems first. This is the most important lesson for us and also the driver behind everything we do.
We encountered amazing people during our journey who believed in us and in GliderPath TMS, and who also wanted to grow their businesses and innovate. But we also found that there are still many businesses working inefficiently because they have no access to the right tools. Our mission is to help them. And all that comes back to talking to them and understanding the problems they are experiencing on a daily basis.
Our minimum viable product is scheduled for launch early September 2014 and we are super excited about it! Why? Because for us success is not about delivering a feature, success is learning how to solve customers’ problems. And the best way to do this is through direct collaboration.