Being a part of the FinTech Startup community, we often found ourselves to be slightly different from the more traditional finance scene. In our team alone, of 11 team members working on different projects, we are 5 female, 6 male – we vary in age, nationality, skills and experience. Actually, we have nine different nationalities.
We often have talks about product development. What are our assumptions? Being Danish, female, 42, I was raised in one way, went to school, had different job experience etc. before I joined hiveonline. My upbringing and my experience have led to a different perception than I would have had if I'd been raised in Tanzania, as one of my colleagues has.
Using those assumptions to strengthen our product development has been a key element in developing the hiveonline app, and continues to be so.
Questioning our own assumptions
When we started out developing an app for craftsmen, we began with a lot of assumptions based on customers and own experiences etc. Working closely with craftsmen and the community around them has shown that even though we are a diverse team, we as a team still carry our own assumptions and need to develop new skills to handle that.
Working on handling contracts between small businesses and customers, your perspective changes if you are used to living in a country where there is a lot of corruption, or if you live in Scandinavia, where there is a much higher degree of trust. Here, our different experiences become complementary in the development process. This is also critical in our journey to expand to other countries with much lower levels of trust.
One of the skills we had to develop together included methods to understand our customers better through UX testing . A process that will never end. Also, we as a team, with plenty of great skills, experience and diversity had to develop was the experience of being in a startup company, where you pivot and have to do things, you have never done before. But with the encouragement and the help from our team members you get there.
The vision of the company is what binds us. We all have a desire to help smaller business and their customers - not at each others' expense but for the benefit of each other. That, combined with our diversity, experience from old and newly acquired skills have made sure we keep moving forward.