Our Islands, Our Future

Maui TechOhana meetings are back! Presented by the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and supported by the County of Maui, the first virtual Zoom meeting provided an informal networking opportunity open to anyone interested in Maui County’s business and technology industries. Invited guest Doug Nelson, Founder, President and CEO of Kinection, spoke on the topic ‘We’re All Startups Again’.

“Whether you call it the “Post-Covid landscape,” the “big reset,” or the “new normal,” it is clear that we need to adapt our businesses in order to survive and thrive,” said Nelson “Our markets, our channels, and even our customers have changed, and will likely continue to for the foreseeable future.”

Discussing the questions startups face daily, Nelson explained how to adapt products and services so that customers are met where they are; how to continue to provide value; how to find new customers to serve; and how to take advantage of new opportunities that did not exist last year. The participants considered some practical techniques from the startup world that helped professionals and businesses to (re)connect with customers, (re)imagine themselves, and (re)discover product-market fit. Attendees also looked at some local examples and considered how to apply the techniques to their personal situation.

“The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere,” Nelson said “Using the Lean Startup Methodology, whose core is the build-measure-learn cycle, startups better understand their customers and develop products that the customers are looking for. Part of this methodology is Customer Discovery and Experimentation. This principled approach teaches you how to drive a startup, how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere, to grow a business with maximum acceleration. Companies can create order, not chaos, by continuously providing tools to test a vision. By the time the product is ready to be distributed widely, it could already have established customers.” The participants agreed, “When markets, channels, customers and products are in flux, we are truly all startups again. Sharing personal experiences was a valuable takeaway for the community. Thank you, MEDB!”

MEDB’s Maui TechOhana presentation was a relevant topic in today’s pandemic-ravaged industry, offering an opportunity for participants to talk to others with similar professional interests.

Doug Nelson, Founder, President and CEO of Kinection