Most of the time startups and people in general only showcase their best moments on social media. We've found it utterly harmful trying to be perfect not only as individuals but as a business as well, so during these days we'll share some of the moments we failed. Building a startup isn't just the glitter and gold of pitches or all the smiling at the networking events, but the real struggle of product and team development too. If you really love what you do, and you want to pursue entrepreneurship you got to be aware that both your best moments and your worst moments will come from your operations. As yesterday's story ended with the team starting to work together on Cogito, today's story continues with one of the earliest workshops we ever held. Today's story is about the one time Kristóf was lost during a meeting.
You got to know that Kristóf is one of the most pragmatic, almost robotically organized and punctual person we've ever met. Him being a pain in the ass whenever it's about maintaining your tasks to the smallest details or your calendar schedule makes him the perfect and most efficient product manager I've met so far. You'll see during your career, that there are lots of people claiming to be agile coaches, experts, scrum masters and many more. Kristóf didn't claim any of it. He's a just simply a genuinely organized person at a core level. At the beginning of the project, we'd regularly hold workshops for design thinking, to figure out what the hell we want to build, and how we want to build it. After discovering key pain points, and possible solutions for them, we've had a general concept to start working on.
During this time we've been following most of the best practices of Dávid Pásztor's UX principles laid down in his book UX Design (it is a really good book for starters in product development). So after the initial workshops of product defining, Kristóf as every other time scheduled a meeting for a branding workshop. The clues we've had about branding was near zero back in those days, but we started the meeting with very high hopes since Kristóf's guidance with his workshops worked out quite fine earlier on. The team was generally confused with the flow of the workshop as we settled on all the values we wanted to hold as a business both marketing and design-wise. Since we had most of the platform in our head we didn't understand why we needed an extra round of workshop where we think about whether we want to create a funny or an exclusive look and feel. As confusion and frustration grew further, Kristóf standing in front of the whiteboard with the UX book in his hand finally gave up. He stopped being confident about the workshop, looked at the book once more and said to us: Look, I actually have no clue why we need this workshop at all, but this was the next chapter in the book. I don't know anything about branding any better than you guys know.
The workshop quickly came to an end after this realization, and we left with some important takeaways. Not knowing things is cool, it's actually one of the best places to start, second: books are not your startup, they can give you ideas, but these rules are only as good as much as you're willing to break them, and third: if you think you're ready to build stuff, just build it. Don't overthink everything, because iteration will win over planning ahead too much in most cases, because this is just how this works. 6 Months later during our time at Start it @K&H, we finally arrived at the branding chapter and Kristóf was ready to help us bring out the brand from within. Finding the right values, designs and clearer vision than ever before.
Best, Matt and the Team of Cogito