In today’s startup industry, there is an enormous emphasis on using Herculean technology solutions for - often to be determined - hard problems. Any founder is amply aware of the push towards the use of hype technology. It’s time for a paradigm shift towards the acceptance (and celebration) of using the “dumbest” solution available to solve hard problems. You might not see a significant Rise of your personal brand, but you will help customers faster and often better.
In 2017 a company added “Blockchain” to its name and saw its shares surge by 394%. Amongst early stage investors - with a mild case of the fomo - there is clear attraction towards investing in companies that use terms that publications (ie. Techcrunch) deem to be sexy. As a former 500 Startup founder, turned hype-word marketing specialist recently said to me:
The aforesaid reality has lead to a running gag between founders, where we explain our companies in a “hype word bingo” format. For example:
Company X is a B2B SaaS healthcare solution which is revolutionizing the provision of CBD* through a disruptive enhanced machine learning platform with augmented reality in the blockchain.
While a “hype word bingo” pitch might lead to short term gains (ie. social media and investment traction) we should be focussing on addressing customer pains responsibly and quickly. Don’t get me wrong, when selectively applied Machine Learning (ML) and other “smart” tech can be extremely effective. For example, Medipass - a company based in Melbourne - is using Machine Learning to automate digitization and analysis of billing in healthcare. Peter Williams (Co-Founder & Co-CEO) clearly understood the use case for implementing AI and ran with it successfully.
There is a role to play for hyped technology, but like Peter, we should focus on solving Herculean problems and finding adequate technology (“dumb” or “smart” should be irrelevant). “Dumb” solutions - which merely means software without a deep-tech, AI, or blockchain aspect - can often be built faster while easily addressing customer requirements.
At GROM, we try to rely on “dumb” solutions as much as possible. It allows us to deliver customer requested features in only 2-3 weeks. Being “dumb” gives us a 96% customer retention rate, improves software functionality, and limits spending. In short, we love “dumb” solutions.
* CBD is a component of marijuana which is increasingly sold by startups in the form of healthy oil.