First Principle Thinking
Some of the most insightful things we've discovered while setting up Eden have been the most obvious, in hindsight. Take communication, for example: if we're building a high quality concierge service for Nigerians, it stands to reason that all our communications must sound helpful, smart, empathetic and eager to accept feedback on improvement.
Some things have been obvious, but most things have not. For one, there's the interesting challenge of explaining who we are. We say to everyone who will listen, 'we are Eden, a concierge service for homes. A tech-enabled, human-powered service that takes over the running of your home so you can focus on the things that truly matter in life. We are the Operating System of your home - some might even call us Room Service, but for homes."
I like that pitch. It's one we have written and fine-tuned over weeks. Context sometimes collapses, though; it is quite easy for people to mistake us for something else - a cleaning service, a laundry service, a meal delivery startup. It's also easy to understand why: the market currently has no lens, or framework with which to properly deconstruct Eden. While it struggles with low-fidelity, ersatz models, we'll continue to do the work to make people not have to work so hard to grasp what we do.
On the plus side, it is tremendously gratifying when people understand what Eden does on first listen - which is happening a lot more often these days, indicating that we're getting even better at pitching. Amazing. The reason we know this is because we take every opportunity to pitch Eden, both to current customers and to prospects. We have chosen to talk to as many people as possible because we can, and we can because we are small.
Do Small Things, But Bigly
One thing we decided early on is that we're a small company, and we are going to act like it. Too often small companies adopt the practises of big companies without understanding that it's a bug, not a feature. Big companies send bulk emails to customers because it's impractical to hand-craft emails to individual customers. They strip their social media presence of personality so they can hire and fire the social media people without markedly divergent tone change. These are necessary things for big companies, but way too many small companies adopt the playbook without consideration.
Well - we're not going to do any of that. Our social media presence is designed to sound exactly like a regular human being - not a corporate drone. We invite our customers over for drinks to find out how they're finding Eden, use WhatsApp as a legitimate feedback channel and will generally do anything to let the customer know that at the other side of the table is a group of people who just want to design a great experience for them at all costs.
This is an especially privileged position to be in. Eden comes with an app that allows you keep track of the chores we're automating on your home and it allows you give feedback on those tasks, but the real 'innovation' here is not the app. It's not tech. It is the Gardeners, our first-class humans who execute an experience so custom that it feels tailored to you alone.
So what is our true value? To make Eden small and cozy for our customers - for them to always know that every member of the team is accessible via one phone call, text or email. The closer we are to the heart of their challenge, the easier it will be for us to heartily solve challenges together.
As simple and obvious this is, it's easy to miss. What is the Eden Growth philosophy? Paradoxically, we're growing by being small.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!