The Money People

Every year as tax season approaches, businesses take a fresh look at where their work is coming from, what has worked best over the past year, and how to improve. We do the same.

And while the Experience Design field is flourishing in several areas, 2014 is presenting a marked shift in our client base to a growing sector: the Money People. We have worked for VCs, angel groups, accelerators, and private equity firms in the past, but in 2013 a whopping 30% of our gigs were in this arena.

Why this trend?

Because investors know that apps and websites can’t afford bad ratings in app stores or in online forums, and they know that physical product is quickly becoming dependent on the star-rating systems of Amazon, Ebay, and other e-tailers.

Investors have recognized the trend of user-ratings in driving sales. They know that if a product isn’t loved by users, the market will choose something else. And this is where First User Group is delivering value. Investors are using our Experience Design Market Studies to provide a fresh perspective on their portfolio companies, ensuring that each company is delivering what their respective markets demand.

Investors also hired First User Group to assess the Experience Design philosophies and capabilities of their portfolio companies’ management and product teams. Are these the right people to bring this product to market? Is the team willing to pivot when the market gives feedback? How do they respond to negative user feedback? The answers to these questions are of great importance when considering a funding event and can make-or-break an early-stage investment. We performed several of these assessments in 2012 (and, as far as we know, we are the only Experience Design firm to do so).

We’re happy to say that we helped several investors make great bets in 2013. We only saw a few physical products in the space, with the rest being apps and web services, and we hope to expand our assessments in 2014 and beyond. The work was great for us, too. It’s especially thrilling to conduct Experience Design audits with smart entrepreneurs who have the passion to bring something new into the world. At First User Group, we adore a good idea and love to turn those ideas into products. There’s no better place to be engaged.