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#381 – Focus on Value

Friday Ship #381 | January 26th, 2024

Plants growing

At the top of the year we’re taking a hard look at how well our software serves the essential needs of our customers. We’ve had to look back at where we’ve been, and forward to where we want to be. We’re asking some hard questions. If our software wasn’t available to our users tomorrow, what would they miss? What problem were we solving? What would folks reach for otherwise?

These kind of questions are the ones you tackle early when solving for product-market fit. Our product has seen 7 trips around the sun since our first cohort of users. You might think we’d answered that question a while back, but it seems there’s always something to learn.

For a few cycles now we’ve seen a softening of our metrics, and for the first time we have started to see any churn. We’ve had a sense that our software does a great job for teams that have some type of agile practice, but serving teams who don’t identify themselves as “Agile” has been more of the exception rather than the rule. Additionally, there’s not much incentive for a team to share Parabol across an organization—other teams manage their own process. During a downward economic cycle in tech (like this one), as budgets shrink and managers are asked to consolidate their SaaS subscriptions it’s difficult for managers to justify their spend on a tool that doesn’t return value to the entire organization.

Downward economic cycles force focus. Having our value checked during this period has elevated the priority of adding new value to Parabol for every user who’s invited to our product, rather than only each team member. It’s especially important for us to include leadership in that value equation, so we can elevate the very real value we provide in driving process improvement, collaboration, and higher-quality decision making.


Active users have bounced back strongly this week! As offices continue to return to work, we’re seeing teams get back into their regular routines.

This week we…

…we shipped some exciting features behind a feature flag.

…refreshed strategy to take on the top challenges of 2024

Next week we’ll

…we’ll hold a technology exploration week.

Terry Acker

Terry Acker

Terry specializes in front-end architecture, UX strategy, UI design, and brand systems. He has previously worked for Quirky, BoomTown, and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, and has served as an advisor to several early-stage start-ups. Terry lives and works near Tyler, TX.

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