Echobind Labs Update: Let's Talk Q2

Chris Ball
Chris BallTuesday, April 23, 2024
Echobind Labs Update: Let's Talk Q2

In March, I said 2024 was the Year of Products at Echobind. We are now firmly in Q2, so let’s take a look at what we’ve been up to.

How did our Q1 products fare?

As a reminder, we announced two products for Q1. Kind Kiosk and Wayfound.

Kind Kiosk is off to a great start

First, we (slightly) changed the name. “Kind Kiosk” felt better than “KindKiosk” the more we used it. We released updates to tackle some of the most requested features we heard from prospective customers. Check out our March roundup.

We’ve talked to numerous stand suppliers and have even started work with a local metal fabricator to create a simple, cost-effective way to mount the card reader. We’ll share more about that journey in the future.

Kind Kiosk has a solid enough foundation and plenty of interest, so we’ve made it a standalone company.

Wayfound needs more validation

We’ve been using newly-created social media handles (TikTok, Instagram and X) as the primary outlet to test Wayfound. While we have generated some amount of interest via direct conversations, we need some more time to fully validate the idea with external product people.

The goal of Wayfound is to provide a lightweight roadmapping solution. The software should be easy to understand and produce beautiful results with minimal effort. For client services companies, roadmaps are a constant and routine part of the job, especially for proposals. We hope we can alleviate some of the burden of creating these.

As projects mature, a complex roadmapping tool that integrates into your issue tracker might be a better fit. But when you’re planning a new project where things are fluid, you need the ability to put something together quickly and iterate on it.

We are learning that the space is a bit saturated and getting existing product people to try something simple is harder than it sounds. We’re doubling down on agencies as the target customer and are directly contacting folks in our network and running some small scale ads to gauge interest.

Let’s talk Q2

With Wayfound requiring further validation, we spent some time thinking about our next few products. Here’s what we’ll be focusing on this quarter (alongside Kind Kiosk and Wayfound).

Product Launch #3: ApprovalStack

All client services companies work on approvals. Each of those companies have likely been in a situation where a verbal approval was given but not documented. Often, this results in some confusion or awkwardness. But it can get much worse! Clients may revisit decisions from 6 months ago and be upset about deadlines or budgets. “I never said that” can be a costly phrase.

We set out to solve this problem in an elegant way. To get an approval on a major decision, all you need to do is:

  • Add the request to your project in ApprovalStack
  • Send an approval link to the designated approvers via email (optionally adding others)
  • The approver views the request, without needing to login. All they need to do is hit “approve” or “reject”. Rejections require a comment as to why.

On top of capturing decisions and approvals, a formalized process lends weight to the decisions being made, and it can help ensure that decision makers are considering everything before the click “Approve.”

Check out ApprovalStack and let us know what you think!

Product Launch #4: SceneFlow

Everyone has a routine before joining a video call, starting a coding session, or setting up a livestream. You might set your video window to a certain location on the screen and add notes under it. You might set a Slack status or Do Not Disturb mode. Maybe you turn on a light and pause your music.

SceneFlow aims to help you handle all of these tasks, automatically.

We are working on a POC and are currently creating a landing page and branding. We are targeting a landing page launch on or before 4/29/24. Here’s a sneak peek!

Process Improvements

We’ve started to fall into a pattern of one larger product and one smaller product per quarter. So far, it feels like a good balance, but may change as we get further along.

We have been using Linear’s update feature to efficiently share multiple product updates across the team. These updates can be quite long, so it’s nice to have the shortened snapshot in our main #labs channel.

New product pitches will happen during a pitch session halfway through the quarter. Previously we were doing this during our weekly labs status meeting. We’ve also changed the format of our weekly meetings to the following:

For each product: (5 min max per product)

  • Top Product Priority
  • Challenges or blockers

Group Discussion (15 min max)

  • More on challenges and product priorities
  • Anyone looking for labs work to do?

I’m really excited about the work our team is doing, and can’t wait to recap our Q2 progress.

Chris is Echobind’s Chief Technology Officer. Excited about Labs and want to reach out to learn more? Don’t hesitate to email us at anytime.

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