Fixing What's Broken to Develop New Products with Nathalie Lussier

The Nitty Gritty:

  • What prompted Nathalie Lussier to transition her business from information marketing to software development
  • How the development of new products is driven by fixing what’s broken
  • How Nathalie’s team has evolved since they began to focus on software development

It’s always a good idea to listen to the pain points of your customers to develop your next big idea just like Nathalie Lussier, this week’s guest on the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast and founder of software company AmbitionAlly.

Since she built her first website at age 12, it’s probably no surprise that she graduated with a software engineering degree. But she certainly surprised friends and family when she turned down a job offer with a Wall Street firm to become an entrepreneur. She launched her first business, originally Raw Foods Witch but now called Real Foods Witch, to share information about healthy eating. She used her software development skills to create a menu planner app for subscribers to use to drag and drop recipes and build grocery lists. But then she realized she didn’t have the audience or the number of subscribers to make it a worthwhile project.

Fixing What’s Broken

What was different about the development of the products that eventually became AmbitionAlly, intuitive software for ambitious business owners, was she knew that this time they had a solution that people were excited about. What started out as “scratching an itch” her own team was bothered by turned into solutions that help other small business owners. Her transformation to software development began.

Do fewer things better.

– Nathalie Lussier

The first plugin Nathalie and her team developed was AccessAlly to solve problems they had with the membership plugin they used. Because it was more complex, they didn’t release what they built as a solution to the public, but kept using it internally to keep improving it. The first tool they released for the public was PopupAlly. While they have a lot of ideas they could push into production they hold themselves back to stay true to the one of the team’s mottos: “Do fewer things better.”

We do a lot of listening to our customers and the people in the marketplace.

– Nathalie Lussier

This effective listening helps them come up with the next big idea and also confirms they are on the right track with new product development. Nathalie’s team solicits feedback from existing customers through surveys, they pose questions to their Facebook groups such as “What would be your ideal solution? How do you wish this worked?” and talk to their Certified Partners who are in the trenches using tools daily.

They have the finger on the pulse and they bubble things up to us if they think it’s important.

– Nathalie Lussier

The lean-and-mean team

Behind the scenes of AmbitionAlly is a lean-and-mean team made up of 6 full-time employees and 1 part-timer who make the magic happen. With the exception of Nathalie and her husband, all team members are dispersed in various parts of the world and rarely work side by side. To keep the team on track, Nathalie credits her team’s secret weapon: their project manager and a daily 5-minute stand-up phone call.

Learn more about the evolution of AmbitionAlly’s team and the priority they place on continuing education, Nathalie’s thoughts on trends that will impact the small business world and what’s on the horizon for new projects by listening to the full podcast.

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