The challenges of running a good meeting are probably familiar to everybody. To improve this experience Copenhagen-based startup developed a service called Pinstriped. It started off as an app that gives professional look to your computer screen during the meetings. But now, two years later since the initial launch, the product has taken a different form in which the initial features are powered up with new functionalities designed to help “meeting owners” be prepared, stay on track and do meeting follow ups. In essence the new Pinstriped version has everything needed to run a meeting the right way.
Launched in the end of 2013 Pinstriped received a great deal of attention from major media channels hitting about 12 000 signups in over 100 countries in a matter of weeks! But the product code proved to be so poor, that within a few months, each update turned out to be an uphill battle, where with every new thing fixed the team had to deal with two more new errors. This experience was followed by a decision that is probably dreaded by every company: start anew.
But instead of focusing just on the code, Pinstriped took the time to dig deeper and understand the needs of their customers better.
“We spent time taking surveys, spoke with our users, and took stock of what we had learned from the initial experience. It actually turned out that many of our users had far greater issues than we initially solved,” – shares Thomas Sugar, Pinstriped co-founder.
One of the greatest problems when it comes to meetings, as it turned out, is the time waste related to lack of preparation, not keeping the meeting on track, and not following up. In the US market, for example, the cost of wasted meetings comes to as much as $37 billion (33 billion euro) per year.
“This is why we decided to take Pinstriped into that direction when redesigning the product. While we still offer an interface that helps users maintain a professional appearance when they share their screens during meetings, the new Pinstriped version comes with lots of useful features that help meeting owners to run meetings the right way saving their time,” – says Thomas Sugar.
Some of the features included in the service are sending reminders with meeting agenda and objectives to the meeting participants, assigning action items to those responsible, setting time limit for individual agenda points, to name a few. To avoid product complexity that might come with ambition to create an “all encompassing” meeting product, Pinstriped started by addressing “meeting owners” who run external meetings.
“We do not underestimate how difficult it is to alter people’s meeting habits. We chose to focus on the initial group that has the most to gain from better meetings. This is the most important issue in motivating people to change their behavior,” – shares Thomas Sugar.
Pinstriped team began introducing the new product version by offering a closed beta to older users. But in pursuit of more insights from new customer segments, the beta version also became available for anyone who’d like to try out the service. Just recently Pinstriped has been featured on Product Hunt where it gathered lots of positive feedback so far, suggesting that the time and effort invested in creating a better and more useful version of Pinstriped was not a waste. To download beta version of Pinstriped follow this link.