Our primary customers right now are startups requiring software & hardware development. But our understanding of a good customer relationship goes a bit deeper than the services we provide. This ultimately dictates if the partnership is a good fit.
It's common for companies to say that "customer comes first", "customer is always right" and "we're customer focused". Though we love and generally agree with these sentiments, they do not reflect collaboration and limit the relationship in a way that can ultimately damage everyone involved. This lead us to having a slightly different M.O. and a more selective process for joining into a "Project Partnership". What are our equivalents to the above statements, which define our ideal "project partner" relationship?
Principles & Purpose come first:
Our principles will always come first, quickly followed by our purpose. Thus we choose to partner with "customers" who agree with our principles and fit in our purpose. If a Project Partnership doesn't move innovation or entrepreneurship forward in a meaningful way, we will listen to it with equally open ears, but are less likely to pursue it for fear of it detracting from our overall ability to pursue our purpose. In the same way, all of our project partners must agree to collaborate within our principles and we will not collaborate on projects that contradict our principles, even high value ones.
Right is always right, and customers help us find it:
As nice as the colloquialism may sound, customers always know what they want, but don't always know what is best or right. Everyone has blind spots. This liberates us to be wrong & search out "right" more often; never assuming we have it figured out. We seek out project partners ready to help us find "right" while being willing to be wrong. In this way we all benefit from each other's expertise and collaborate to make the best solution possible.
We're collaboration focused:
Customer focused is cool, collaboration focused is cooler. We don't measure ourselves by how often we ask a project partner what they want, or what nice ratings we can get from a happy partner. We focus on the quality of the collaboration. Taking the collaborative path together leads to knowing the project partner's needs and ultimately a successful project with good referrals. If we dialogue well about a project and the partner comfortably comes to us for input while offering their thoughts willingly, if the project goes smoothly and everyone feels equally satisfied with the outcome, and if the project ultimately accomplishes the goal with a well informed solution - then we have successfully done our job.
Our Project Partners
Because of this mindset, what most people call customers, we call project partners. So, what ultimately are our "criteria" for project partners? Anyone can be a project partner, they just need to agree to our core principles, have a project that generally falls within our purpose, agree to searching out "right" together, and be willing to collaborate regularly with an agile stream of communication. We also like partners who have a well defined "lean canvas" (or are able to work with us to refine one) and a good path to stable revenue. Ultimately we work with partners that we would want to keep a long term partnership with. And sometimes we do have to pass up a great partnership because it's just not the right time. See a few of the ones we have joined with below.
Any Help Appreciated!
A solution for non-profits who assist under-homed individuals to provide donation portals for their different community members.
Leveraging some of our existing technology, we were able to build a platform for this project partner at a fraction of the time & cost. This is a perfect example of Axon's goal as a company to decrease waste while increasing customer value. We also love the fact that this project could have a tangible impact on bringing value to the marginalized.
A stealth-mode AgTech startup, that we will just call AgroStat, applying modern sensors & data analytics to a burgeoning industry for tech.
Axon has partnered deeply with this team to develop all of the hardware & software necessary to take this product to market. From rapid prototyping to strategic planning, we have walked alongside the AgroStat team in their pursuit of an audacious goal. The perfect example of leveraging our diverse fields of expertise to empower entrepreneurs otherwise unlikely to realize their dream.
An equine startup bringing a more modern approach to this age-old industry.
Axon brings our Vue.JS expertise to the table to help develop the front end of this project. We offer a part time team member to handle their needs on the fly and work flexible hours to fit their budget & schedule. This exemplifies coming along-side existing technologists to bolster their capabilities.
If you want to join our list of project partners or are just interested in our contracting model, head to our contact page to get in touch.