As we near the end of 2019, it’s that time again to take a look back at the previous 12 months and try to establish things we did well, and things we’d like to improve on going forward. We do this retrospective every year and it always amazes me what details and intricacies you pick up on that may not have been apparent at the time.
The year started with a full re-design of our protection products. This actually set the stage for the year ahead, leading us to refer to 2019 as a reset year. As I outlined in a previous blog post, we had designed and created a whole range of protection products over the years, but never specified a design ethos that translated across the entire product range. The outcome of which was a collection of products that weren’t cohesive, distant cousins as apposed to a tight-knit family if you will. Once we had finished this project we turned our attention to the rest of the product lines.
What started as an innocent overview of the products we offered, quickly escalated into an existential discussion about various aspects of the business. For example, from the inside it made complete sense why we sell the various products we do. From the outside however it could be construed as disjointed, and unfocused. This ‘outsiders’ perspective has really troubled me recently, and got me thinking a lot about narrowing our focus as a business to the more functional products. As a first step down this road we started to discontinue some product lines that fell outside of this mandate. Most of which had seen declining sales in recent years anyway, so there wasn’t any particularly hard decision to make.
The other facet of this new, more narrowed approach means we can focus our efforts on say Protection or Safety products, which we hope will lead to more innovation as we’re no longer casting our net too wide. This is something I think we’ve done badly in the past. The adage “if you can, you should” might be good when it comes to going after a Strava segment, but not introducing new product lines.
So if 2019 was a Reset year, then 2020 will be a Focus year. Where we continue to sharpen our skills as we head towards a more nuanced future. A future and a past for that matter, that couldn’t happen without the support from our customers, of which I’d like to say a big thank you, happy holidays and all the best for next year.