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Application Software
Powered by Battery  |  October 15, 2019
When Your Entire Business Is On a Screen: Talking Design, Remote Work and Shabbat with Clark Valberg, CEO of InVision

The Powered by Battery podcast features guests from inside and outside the Battery ecosystem discussing major tech issues of the day. Guests from the Battery portfolio in this season of the podcast represent a subset of business-software and enterprise-infrastructure companies, across investment stages and geographies, highlighting the trends of marketing tech; the broader use of big data and AI; productivity software; user experience; and healthcare software. The views expressed here are solely those of podcast guests, not Battery. If you’re interested in learning more about these companies, or others in the Battery portfolio, you can access more information here.

We now live in a screen-focused era in which modern businesses are really apps with businesses attached—and not the other way around, says Clark Valberg, the CEO of InVision*, a company which makes popular digital product-design software. This means that good design—driven by a relentless focus on the customer—should be paramount for most businesses, Valberg says.

In this episode of Powered by Battery, Battery’s Sanjiv Kalevar talks with Valberg about just how InVision maintains its relentless customer focus, as well as how businesses need to think about design internally. Valberg also breaks down InVision’s innovative all-remote work culture; tells us what he’d be doing if he weren’t running a big software company; and discusses how observing Shabbat has helped his work-life balance and, he says, made him a better CEO. Have a listen.

Key takeaways:

  • Product design is more important than ever for all businesses, but it’s still sometimes overlooked. Too many companies want to think about design as a subset of marketing, or an outgrowth of engineering—when good design really needs to be the starting point for building a new product, whether it’s in the consumer or enterprise sector.
  • You don’t necessarily need a design-focused founder for your company to do design right. You do, however, need to incorporate “experiential innovation in the backbone of the company from day one,” Valberg says. As he puts in: There is no such thing as a Michelin-starred restaurant without a Michelin-starred chef headlining it.
  • Even if you’re building an enterprise product, think about how an individual contributor (IC) at a company would evaluate your product and, hopefully, buy it. Remember that this individual contributor is thinking as a human being, not a faceless organization, and he is the “hero” of your product story. Go on the hero’s journey with this person as you design a product that will make him/her more productive or efficient.
  • Set up specific programs to make your employees more customer focused. InVision has a program called “Delicious Empathy” which sets aside budget for all employees to take customers out to lunch or dinner to get to know them better. The catch: Employees can’t talk about InVision. The goal, instead, is to understand the customer as a person.
  • Think creatively about how to structure your workforce to make sure you’re getting and retaining the best talent. InVision has no dedicated offices or headquarters; in its all-remote setup, everyone works from home or drops into one of the company’s small co-working spaces in certain cities. This setup won’t work for every company, Valberg says. But those who do try it need to commit to evolve their culture and communication processes to make it work.

Battery Ventures provides investment advisory services solely to privately offered funds. Battery Ventures neither solicits nor makes its services available to the public or other advisory clients. *InVision is a Battery portfolio company. For more information about Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to our website. For a complete list of portfolio companies, please click here.

The information provided in this podcast is solely intended for the use of entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs and founders regarding Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies. The information is current as of the date it was published. The contents are not intended to be used in the investment decision making process related to any product or fund managed by Battery Ventures. No assumption should be made that the investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should also not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of the companies identified above.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this podcast nor notify its audience in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

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