How to Stay Focused on User Education
Focus on your users.
The golden tenet of startup success that you will find in most business articles, interviews, presentations, podcasts, and on podiums live or virtual. Great advice indeed and one that seems to make perfect sense. It is also one of those pieces of advice preached a lot but not practised to the same degree in real life.
In most cases, it is not because of a lack of intention. Focusing on users sounds simple but is not so easy to put into practice for each of the thousand small decisions that are made by a team working on a project day in and day out. It is difficult not to lose focus. Propagating the mindset of being extremely user-focused in the culture of a fast-growing company is even harder.
Before joining Appsmith, I worked for over 10 years at different startups in roles that cut across marketing, sales, branding, content and copywriting. Thinking from a user’s perspective is the bread and butter for all these roles. But never before have I experienced what it means to be truly obsessed with users’ needs.
Appsmith is one of those rare startups that have made focusing on users a part of its ethos and culture. Ours is a fully distributed, remote, async-first team that doesn’t breathe the same air but definitely lives and breathes the same user obsession. And it shows.
Do our users even want this?
What real value does it add to a potential user?
How will this help users?
Will this make our users’ experience better?
All our meetings and async discussions always feature such questions and are key drivers behind all the decisions, large or small, that are made at Appsmith.
I have often wondered how this user-centricity became an integral part of our company culture. And an even bigger question is how did we manage to propagate it while our headcount has been growing at such a fast pace. The answer to some of these big questions lies in focusing on the small details. It is about those tiny, and sometimes seemingly inconsequential decisions, that a company makes.
One such decision was to not set up a traditional Marketing team but to set up a User Education Pod instead. At Appsmith, we work in small groups called pods that focus on well-defined problems over large periods of time. Pods at Appsmith are intentionally assembled with individuals from different roles and different departments.
The User Education Pod’s goal is to ensure Appsmith users can build their internal apps as quickly and elegantly as possible. A few of us in the pod have a background in marketing but most others are engineers. No permutation or combination would get us to a pairing that can be called two peas in a pod. And that’s precisely what makes our pod click.
The success of our pod comes from the engaging discussions and immense learning opportunities made possible by the diversity of backgrounds, domain expertise and interests on our pod.
If you are a designer, developer, marketer, writer, community builder, or work on any other facet of marketing and are ready to unlearn, grow exponentially, be laser-focused on users, and enjoy yourself while doing it, work with us. Check out our open jobs and apply today!