I’ve learned a lot of lessons since nominally starting up Eduity back in 2014—“nominally” because while the last two years have been a learning experience, the company is just now getting going in earnest. I’m reflecting on a few lessons I’ve learned, and would like to share with you as Eduity is finally getting somewhere. Here’s the first one:

Start with a problem, then create a product. I know, this is pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s good to state the obvious. Don’t start with a cool name, URL, logo, legal entity, whatever. Start with a real problem, understand it, and create product that solves the problem. This can be tough for a startup, especially one that seeks to solve a complex problem, or one with a product that will require a lot of money and time.

My experience with Eduity has been a lot of folks going, “Huh?” Some people totally grok it, others don’t, most people need it explained to them. Many folks, especially employers, get the problem: It is difficult to get the right skills, at the right place and right time. We are so used to the standard, top-down, institutional approach to workforce that it can be hard to see another solution, even if the current approach doesn’t work really well.

A new solution is like a hypothesis about a problem, and you need a product to test the hypothesis. Eduity’s first hypothesis is that employers will use a job mapping tool, especially if it’s free; that it is useful. Job mapping, the foundation for collaborative workforce planning, is most useful when everyone who knows about the job can contribute. The best way to explain this is to demonstrate it, which requires a product. I suspect that’s true for many other startups.

Eduity is actively developing a product, with developers who get the idea. The alpha-version of the our job mapping tool will be available soon, thanks to Grid Principles. Greg Brock and Seun Erinle, you rock!

Watch this space for more exciting and insightful lessons-learned… and news about the Eduity alpha!

by Greg Laudeman