Oscar Wilde once said, “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world”. Many entrepreneurs will have a vision that there is something missing, something which needs correcting or something that no one else has ever noticed. Equally, we all think there is a big pot of gold at the end of this rainbow just waiting to be uncovered. It’s a journey we are willing to take as we love adventure. But often below this mask of self-belief and enthusiastic confidence, the journey will be a lonely one. As Oscar said we are guided by moonlight and during these moonlight hours everyone is normally asleep.
Yes, we will talk to people, often tell them how great the idea is and yes we will listen as they tell us their opinions. But let’s dial this back and explore a little further. Who are we often asking? Mainly friends and family. Do they ever really want to put out our bonfires? Not a chance as they know any bad word may be perceived as a slight on our vision and seem unsupportive. This actually is not what we are looking for because we need honest and candid feedback. A mistake at the start can often compound over time and it would be in our best interest to be on the correct path from the beginning of the journey. But because our loved ones care too much they filter their views (well most of the time – as you can occasionally find a few blunt comments that cut straight to the heart). So how do we remedy this? In the law of averages it is almost nigh on impossible that we nail our ideas without changes along the way. No artist will ever paint a masterpiece without a few new licks of paint over part of the canvas that doesn’t look right. So, if through our perceived best intentions we cannot get the feedback from people who care for us who is there to turn to?
Luckily I found my answer with Testbirds and I can only say I wish I found them earlier. So why did I need Testbirds? My dream started back in 2012, when I was home one afternoon. Whilst I was watching a football match I decided to start building a spreadsheet for my work Fantasy Football league. Yes, this sounds very geeky but it was for a very good reason. We were running an alternative version of our league and I was the guy they turned to try and make it work. From a small acorn grows a mighty oak tree and 5 years later I have a Daily Fantasy Sports website backed by two rounds of funding and on the verge of some serious market growth. A website that started off by deleting teams in a random and unexpected fashion has now evolved to offer multi-sport across multi platforms (website, tablets, smartphones, iOS and Android) and for multi-horizon games (what is known as Daily, Weekly’s and Seasonal).
What is Daily Fantasy Sports? As long as you know of Fantasy Football you are on the right track. This is where you pick players into a team and they score you points based on real life events. It was often a social game between friends and work colleagues. What Fanto allows customers to do is take this legacy style of the game but also stake money on the outcome of your team to try and win cash. The site also offers so much more than just Fantasy Sports as we try and engage with customers to help with Fantasy Football tips. The future is very exciting.
How and why did I cross paths with Testbirds? It was simple. I was in a fiercely competitive market where my business was entirely online. Online marketplace customers are, to put it nicely…..ruthless. Standards are set by Facebook, Google and Amazon. People are unforgiving if you do not demonstrate you are even close to the quality levels these guys have and with one too many mistakes you are soon forgotten. It doesn’t matter if you have a modest budget and your intentions are good, customers expect everything online to be of the highest standard. So with a product that was in need of a small lick of paint and some basic UX flaws (the functionality was all in the website, you just had to work out how to use it – cardinal sin of a “techy” website!) we turned to Testbirds for help.
Testbirds were highly professional from the outset and really went out of their way to understand my business. This started the process off on the best possible foot and was very easy to create a test scenario that captured my requirements exactly. One small session stuck in my mind. I was fortunate enough to be London based and traveled to their office. Sat in the café hub of the vibrant office space that was buzzing with activity, they went through each scenario to help determine whether it was exactly what I was looking for. I valued this as a level of service that was way over and above my expectations.
During the course of testing, Testbirds were always on hand for any question and never once made me feel like I was alone in the process. The final output had a material impact on what I was to pursue in the website over the next six months. I used all the feedback from the 25 testers and created a roadmap. Once this process was completed I could now look anyone in the eye and say that I had a seriously good product. Returning back to Oscar, I could say I can finally see my dawn. Where I diverge from Mr Wilde is that after the work with Testbirds I now hope that the rest of the world will share it with me.
Author: James Pope, CEO and Founder of Fanto
James’ love of a weekly fantasy football league inspired an idea back in 2012. Whilst working full time in the city, James set up Fanto. This eventually lead to serious funding in the summer of 2016. 10 years of working in Investment Management has afforded James the skills to drive the organisation forward just when the Fantasy Sport Betting market in the UK is showing real signs of growth. Under James’ leadership, Fanto has built a multi-sport, multi-platform and multi-horizon product.