Rutabaga’s Origin: From Pain to Passion

a seed grows taller over five stages

Rutabaga was born out of an acute pain point the founders experienced when tasked with facilitating a global journey mapping research study for a large computer networking company.

Pinpoint, the consulting firm the founders worked for, developed a bespoke methodology for facilitating interviews to elicit stories from participants about their experiences conducting business with our client.

We facilitated the interviews in person, starting with a straight, horizontal line on a piece of paper. We then asked the participants to write down the major events or milestones they’d experienced from the time they were aware of our client as a potential solution to their problem, until their most recent purchase. After defining their experience, we added three labels. One above the line, ‘Exceeded Expectations,’ one at the line, ‘Met Expectations,’ and one below the line, ‘Failed to Meet Expectations.’ Participants then drew a line, connecting each event to their perceived experience of whether expectations were met, often resulting in a journey map that resembled a stock ticker.

The study’s results were well received, garnering attention from executives who wanted to learn more about their customers and partners. A small pilot with one company turned into a global research study with over 300 participants.

We had to figure out how to scale the methodology because there wasn’t the budget to fly researchers around the world and back. Also, our client had a web conferencing platform they wanted us to use. This was pre-COVID pandemic where video conferencing was not a socially accepted norm.

We scoured the internet looking for tools to digitize our methodology. We found tools, but we weren’t happy with the experience they created for participants. As a UX firm, creating a good experience was in our DNA. And it still is today, as one of Rutabaga’s guiding principles. We knew there had to be a better way.

Our co-founder and CTO, Kurt, developed a custom application to facilitate the journey mapping activity. Our new solution alleviated the pain points we experienced with the tools we tried to use. We didn’t know it at the time, but Rutabaga was born.

Tools to facilitate interviews were only a piece of the bigger picture; we knew there were other parts of conducting research where tooling could improve efficiencies, increase productivity, and bring joy to an often tedious process. The more we thought about what we could build, the more we realized it wasn’t just about research but product delivery. After all, teams conduct research to gather insights to inform their organization’s strategy.

The vision was clear: We needed to create the platform for teams to gather, manage, socialize, and leverage customer insights, creating a new path from insight to outcome.

Consider joining our waitlist for a chance to get early access to our platform.

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