Journey from Enterprise Social Graph to Communication Dashboard

As the LeanStartup Challenge is nearing its end with DemoDay today, the following blogpost sums up our journey and learning so far, and might be useful for your startup adventure.

Based on our Enterprise Architecture Work and the many stakeholders involved there (IT, PMO, Business, …) we were confronted with one recurring theme: Who is responsible for different parts (e.g. a server, an business application, an interface, a vendor, a business capability) and who is the user of which part.

And it is this hidden and mostly missing social network where we have seen many problems in different companies. Although people, based on the relationship of their work items, should know each other or work with each other, they sometimes rarely or never did.

Based on this early assessment we thought of giving this idea some more space and went on and applied at the Lean Startup Challenge, with our idea of an Enterprise Social Graph based on combining Enterprise Structures with Collaboration data:

The Enterprise Social Graph we first pitched

Getting this accepted at the LSChallenge was our first success. Using the Lean Canvas started working on our Business Modell, Problem space, customer segments etc. thoughout the last five weeks of this program, learning a lot.

It is not your solution that your startup is about, stupid!

So we highly recommend anyone thinking about starting on a new idea to either join such a program or run through the lean methodology to learn through validation and make sure that you do not build something that has no market.

Running our experiments we had some sort of initial luxury problem – everybody we talked to liked our idea/solution and came back to us with additional use-cases and benefits in the organization. We had an inflation of value propositions and problems. So we could solve problems in the HR/Organizational Development space, for Sales, for Customer Support, for IT Support, … but according to the Lean Startup Methodology, one should focus on one customer segment first instead of trying to build a solution that pleases everyone. So we did further tests and learned that the biggest benefit that resonated with most people/companies was in Sales Operation and CEO type broader overview of the communication in general.

We kind of hacked the LSC program by using the weekly submissions as a template for each week ahead.

Rather than answering the questions, we used them as a guidance/structure for our learning, simply by changing to future tense:

  1. These are the assumptions we want to test (instead of “tested”) this week
  2. We will test these assumptions through the following experiments
  3. This is how we will execute the experiments
  4. We judged our tests to be successful if the following goals are met (Hint: try to be specific!)
  5. Due to the results of our experiments we learned the following – enhanced with “and therefore these are the things we want to test next week”

And as we used it to guide our weekly work, we also wrote all this down prior to the submission, which made the submission easier, the learning more successful. As a nice side effect we now have these submissions/experiments/learning as more tangible knowledge for future learnings or reminders.

We also hacked the LSC program to use the weekly talks and mentorships as validation interviews, by picking mentors who could validate our target customers, problems and value proposition. Learning from these weekly interviews we further validated further by including our personal networks and using OfficeHours at Venture Cafe.

So as DemoDay is today here is where we are – our rough pitch:

We want you to know your email communication and manage your relationships – on an enterprise level.

  1. In emails you have avg. 5-times more contacts than in your CRM
  2. Your emails, contacts and calendar data are the biggest untapped data pool with a huge history – and it is a corporate asset unlike Social Media communications.
  3. Your continued success depends on your ability to leverage your network – as an individual and as an organization.

Our Communication Dashboard helps you making your communication transparent to effectively use your time and leverage your network.

Communication Dashboard
Communication Dashboard

We automatically extract meta data from emails, contacts, calendars to build an enterprise level social graph. Our algorithms and data analysis provide relationship intelligence for individuals and enterprises – as a cloud/SaaS subscription.

For beta testers we are looking for knowledge and relationship based businesses – small to medium sized – such as VCs, consulting companies, legal, private banking, startups, …

Save your competitive advantage as an early adopter today and let us invest together in your most important asset – your existing network!

Don’t lose your network – use your network! To reduce costs, improve efficiency and spur innovation – Sign up for our beta!

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