Most of the previous year was spent on a pivot that didn't really pan out. After reversing the feature we are closer to the original MVP proposal: to offer a way for companies to manage their internal skillset so that employees can live up to their potential and grow.
The secret sauce is still the same: we are the best at identifying what your workforce is capable of. What changed are the use cases.
Talent Search is the first use case focused on the current pivot (and hopefully the last one before product market fit).
The idea is simple: if managers need someone for a position, gig or project, they can enter the combination of skills they need and Pluckd will give a list of potential candidates from their existing workforce - along with a recommendation of who the best match is.
After getting our first paying customer in August last year, Pluckd went through a pivot. I had decided to move away from being a tool to measure and manage your company's skill set. Instead, the idea was to use that capability to improve the culture of companies working remote. To reach that goal, we've deployed 3 features:
Within the next months we will be removing theses features - thus burying the 2nd pivot of the product.
I had hoped this pivot would help Pluckd grow without having to rely on sales effort. Employees would try the tool out. If they found value in it, they would tell their bosses who in turn would create a paid account. That was the plan at least.
What I found out however is that employees have very little incentive to try to solve a problem they don't own. Not only the potential users I was talking to lacked a budget, but their bosses - who did have a budget - were not expected to tackle the issue of employee morale. Which was exactly the problem Plucked tried to solve.
We've been hard at work trying to bring together the insights that will make managers become better leaders.
Now every team will have their own dashboard. There, team leaders can have a bird's-eye view of their team's morale, collective iNPS and their most appreciated skills.
The lesson here is that finding the balance between user and buyer personas for B2B is tricky. For a while we were pushing Pluckd to the user persona - who feels the pain we try to solve - in the hopes those users would, in turn, convince their company (the buyer persona was usually HR departments or managers) to adopt the product.
This never happened. Feeling the pain was not enough. The user should also feel empowered to do something about it and most of them did not.
With this feature, we hope to become more appealing to managers - then we would be able to niche down to an audience that's both user and buyer.
But this is just a first step. A full pivot is still warranted.
We are launching our blog today! In it, leaders from our platform and guest writers will share their tips about how they are nurturing growth cultures in their companies.
This will also be important to start generating more traffic. SEO is hard, takes a long time to see traction so the sooner I start working on that the better!
This also forces me to research even further what my audience enjoys reading.
For the first post, I made a list: https://pluckd.co/blog/10-reasons-why-your-team-building-activities-fail/
As for the stack, the blog is built with Wagtail CMS. I was wondering whether I should have used Ghost or Wordpress instead, but ultimately I was already using Django and Wagtail would allow me to keep everything in a single codebase.
To tell you the truth, this is not a community I usually hang out in, so I totally forgot about it until today.
Obviously, the HN crowd may not be my target audience, but then again, testing won't hurt. Whenever I get myself wondering whether or not I should post my product somewhere, I remember all those great products I've never heard about because their makers were silent about it.
This is my first real launch and I couldn't be more nervous!
I even faced my fear of speaking English out loud in a video demo. 😅
Public launching is nerve-wracking. It's like your son's first day in school. Will people like it? Will it be completely ignored or, worse, despised?
Pluckd has been totally bootstrapped and has already cost me many nights and weekends. I honestly believe in its vision. But will others? I have some validation, which is great, but I also know all its little flaws and bugs I wasn't able to fix yet.
If you have and like it any support, like sharing or commenting, will be much appreciated! 😊
And please, leave some feedback too!
This is the second step of our self improvement roadmap: to commit publicly to a goal.
Research shows that, by demonstrating your intentions publicly, you get a heightened sense of responsibility, which also increases your chances of reaching your goals.
Or, as Peter Drucker would have said: "Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans."
That's why the personal goals created on Pluckd are public and can all be seen in the Feed.
That's also the place to show your support 👏 and celebrate when other reaches their goals. Motivate your colleagues!
This first release is a simplified version to get some feedback from users. If everything goes well, we plan on adding comments, upvotes/downvotes and moderation as well.
We've built this on top of the Personal Goals feature. As I've said before, we believe the road to self improvement in any skill is:
But, between step 1 and 2, we realized the following: whenever I want to create or get skilled at something, surely there's someone I work with or nearby that could lend me a hand. This is particularly true in bigger organizations where everyone is siloed within different departments.
So we created a "skill learning" template that works like this:
Today we launched the Personal Goals features! 🥳
What is it?
Well, it's a to-do list. For now, at least.
More importantly, it's one step closer towards our product vision: a product that enables a culture of growth. So now we don't only help companies map their skill set: we also help their employees to make public commitments to become better. 💪
Next step is the social feed. The Personal Goals feature doesn't make sense without it. The feed is not unlike Product Hunt's goals but focused for a single team or enterprise.
There is something really powerful when what the CEO is reading is visible for the entire company. Equally powerful is the notion that your own personal motivation will be visible to your CEO. With Personal Goals and the Social Feed, we can unlock that.
We believe the road to self improvement in any skill is:
1 out of 4 done. 3 to go!
(We actually had them since June, they started paying in July and the first invoice was only sent out yesterday)
Beta users help us a lot. First we pivoted from HR departments to business owners and team leaders. This was due to 2 learnings: -
But the pivot showed promise We quickly found these first users, who were intrigued enough by the value proposition no only to adopt the tool but also to bridge the engagement gap we currently have.
That is to say, though Pluckd helps them get a better view of their team's morale and skill set, it doesn't offer much value to the actual teammates. We are working on remedying that right now, which is why having a constant interface with the beta users is so critical.
Until we close on set of feature that converts, we will stay in beta and charge only a symbolic value (though, given how purchase power varies between countries, that is debatable).
I've always worked in big enterprises. When new opportunities appeared, hiring managers overlooked us because they thought we lacked the required skills - however that assessment was often wrong and biased.