Welcome to the Age of Product

Written by Todd Olson  | 

4 min

 

When my co-founders and I started Pendo, we mostly wanted to build a product for ourselves—B2B cloud product leaders. We certainly envisioned a market opportunity beyond selling to other tech companies but it was in the faint future.

That future for Pendo is here.

Today, we’re helping a broad range of builders improve the experience in their software applications. For example, Montgomery County Community College is using Pendo to help students more efficiently enroll in classes. And OpenTable uses Pendo to help more of its restaurateurs create self-service marketing campaigns.

These stories provide a snapshot of the diverse use cases and applications we’re seeing among our customer base of nearly 800 companies worldwide. Banks, insurance companies, daycare providers, retailers, medical laboratories, media companies and dozens of other types of businesses now make software. And they are starting to recognize that how users navigate and experience that software is a critical part of the overall customer experience. Differentiation has moved right into the product itself—it’s the new battleground.

Pendo kicked off a series of customer events called Pendorama in 2018.

This is the market opportunity we discovered this year—or possibly it discovered us—or possibly we helped create it.

It’s exciting and inspiring to see product—and Pendo—having a moment. I’m proud that we made the Forbes Cloud 100 for the first time this year, but also excited that two other companies from our space made Forbes’ Rising Stars list (ProductBoard and LaunchDarkly). We continue to see increased funding in our category and are starting to see more M&A.

Pendo contributed to the activity in 2018 by launching ProductCraft, an editorial site and community that’s quickly become one of the top destinations for product management insight.

ProductCraft hosted a lively Debate Club Live event in Toronto in July 2018.

And last March, we laid out our vision for the market with the product cloud, our articulation of the emerging category we occupy and believe in. We followed this with the product stack, published on ProductCraft, and Product Cloud Alliance, a partnership between six leading vendors serving product teams. Key to any successful market is partnerships—no single vendor does a category make. We’re proud of the progress we made here in 2018.

All of this investment and innovation has certainly increased the heat in our market. That might stress some people out, but it excites me. Healthy competition motivates us to be the best possible version of ourselves and ultimately lifts the entire market. Customers are the ultimate beneficiary.

Investing in the Future of our Product

Looking back, 2018 was the year we drank our own champagne. We used Pendo to understand how our customers use our software today, how they’d like to use it moving forward, and subsequently made large and long-term investments in our product to set the stage for future growth. It’s rare in high-growth companies to slow down and retool core parts of the product, yet this retooling will help us keep the pace of innovation and deliver our customers even more product delight.

Part of that was a complete reinvention of our guide authoring experience despite having a solid experience to begin with—we knew that this change was critical as our users come from a more diverse set of roles. We also began to deliver support for multiple applications within a single subscription to serve companies with large product portfolios.

These changes laid the foundation for a new product that we’ll launch early this year. Stay tuned.

Pendozers toasted to a successful 2018 at the annual holiday party.

Establishing our Homes

In addition to product, 2018 was the year of real estate for Pendo. We began 2018 with a move into our new headquarters in Raleigh and a new office in downtown San Francisco. We signed new leases in Herzliya, Israel, New York City, and London. We closed out the year announcing our commitment to Raleigh for our long-term headquarters and kicked off the search for a permanent home.

In short, 2018 was a year of preparedness for Pendo. Getting our “house” (literally and figuratively) ready to fully support the amazing market opportunity in front of us. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our customers, partners, and people (Pendozers) for making 2018 an industry-defining year. We look forward to continuing to lead the charge in 2019.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper visited Pendo in December 2018 to help us celebrate our growth plans in Raleigh.