Creating and selling a product is all about making decisions. What is the product? What features does it need to help the customers? What kind of customers does this product fit with best? Over the past years, we have been trying to figure that out for Lily.
How Lily brings value
Lily is a special product. We started building Lily because other CRM systems didn’t have the core focus on customer relations that we value so much. We know that it helps us, because as a company we use it every day. Our workflow is based on Lily, and features like the shared email functionality and call notifications help us give our customers the attention they deserve.
However, we have found that how we work doesn’t necessarily translate to how other people work. Although we had a small yet enthusiastic customer base, the value we found in Lily wasn’t the same as what most people were looking for when they searched for a CRM solution.
The end of Lily
This is why, after months of research and decision making, we have made the toughest business decision there is: to stop Lily. The companies that were using Lily are already aware of this and are in the process of transferring to a new CRM solution. This will happen over the next two months. As of today, May 1st, 2019, we are closing registration for new users and after August, Lily will no longer be online.
We would like to thank everyone that used Lily as well as those who looked at Lily and gave us feedback on what we needed to improve. Feedback and feature requests are what has kept us going this long, and the user input has been invaluable.
The road that led to this decision
As mentioned above, this decision was not something that was made overnight, but rather a decision that was come to after months of research. Lily was highly valuable internally, but that value didn’t translate to other companies in a way that would make Lily a financially sustainable product.
Lily had the luxury of not being the core product of a startup, but rather one of the product offerings from a successful company. This gave us time to research where Lily could fit in the market and what problems Lily could solve for other companies. We noticed that the people that used Lily most successfully were customer service teams, so we then researched how customer service teams that didn’t use Lily work.
Seeing the signs
We started by observing their workflows and the problems they come across over the course of the day. We also interviewed people within those teams to see what their pain points were. While we heard some things that were similar to parts of what Lily does or offers, there was never a moment where someone had a problem that was exactly what Lily solved.
That was the biggest red flag for us. The more our research went on, the more ideas we had for products that could help customer support teams, but none of those ideas looked like what Lily currently is.
Because of this research and the professional soul searching that came with it, the decision to stop Lily wasn’t something that was just suddenly made in a meeting one afternoon. Rather it was a decision that naturally showed itself to us as the best choice for the organization.
The next chapter
Ending a product teaches you things just as much as having a successful product. The hard part is not giving up, but rather taking those lessons learned and using them for the next product. That is exactly what we are doing. We are using the research from trying to find the product market fit for Lily as a driver to research new ideas that can become Spindle products in the future.
If you are a current Lily user and have questions about the shutdown process, please contact us by sending an email to lily [at] hellolily.com.