The Product Beat — Shortening the path to innovation
Andrew Sloan, from our team, recently wrote about the power of storytelling. In that spirit, I want to take the chance to share a bit more about the Optimum Output story.
Optimum Output started its life as a consultancy back in 2004. Back then, we were helping companies by looking at how they worked, supporting them and suggesting improvements. Through that experience, we saw the opportunity for a product, and in 2009, we launched The BPR — we iterated from consultancy to product company. Iterations continues today, but the advancements occur from within the BPR product. We call those iterations, beats, and more specifically we call them Product Beats.
The concept of the Product Beat was borne from our belief that the path to innovation is too long. The conventional approach to change has too many steps — from A to B to C…..D-E-F-G-H — and it requires heavy resources. You might eventually achieve some change, but there’s a good chance that your competition will have outpaced you.
We wanted to skip this rigid path, and cut to the chase. In a way, what it’s really about is giving yourself and your team permission to approach change, innovation, and iteration differently. That’s why we came up with the Product Beat.
In Andrew’s blog post on storytelling for your business, he also posed some important questions. I’d like to answer them, as they relate to Optimum Output.
Why are you here?
Jimmy Valvano, the late basketball coach, once said, if you can ‘laugh, think, and cry each day, that’s a full day.’
One of my fundamental beliefs is to build a full life — and thinking is at the core. Each person’s definition of a full life is different — my definition is having the time to be with those I love, in places that inspire me, and all the while being able to think and daydream constantly. In school I was often told to stop daydreaming; I’ve spent the last 14 years relearning how to do it productively.
What do you do, make or sell?
Our company, Optimum Output, makes the BPR. And while it’s the product of countless daydreams, the main reason people buy it is because it helps them organize their business and showcase their team and company’s ideas.
What do you do well?
If you’ve not realized it already, Optimum Output loves to think! We try to feel patterns and signals from our customers beyond the helpful feedback they give us. But wild thinking alone will not get us anywhere. As a team, we equally focus on our planning and execution; the combination of wild thinking plus discipled planning is our secret sauce.
How do you help improve people’s lives?
We think about ways to add more value to our customers at least once every waking hour. Giving our customers piece of mind and helping them save time, money, and resources are the themes we think about most.
Why do your customers like buying from you instead of someone else?
We think there are 3 main reasons:
- We prioritize building what we care about and what will add value, more than what we think will sell. We are authentic.
- We invest the majority of our profits in R&D to make our product better and make our current customers happier.
- We’re bootstrapped since the day we started, 14 years ago. That forces us to think extremely long term for ourselves and our customers.
At Optimum Output, we are very thankful to have such a dedicated team and to have such wonderful customers. We are very grateful for the chances our customers take on us, and by investing constantly in our product, and mastering our product beat, we aim to deliver more than what they expect.