My journey to Inxeption
There is a fascinating film whose name sounds like the name of our company. And at the heart of that film is the idea of shared dreams. A group of people come together through technology and embrace a challenge. Each brings specific and known skills to the mission, but ultimately each person's experiences, imagination, and commitment blend together and determine the outcome.
In theory, startups are like this. I know this because Inxeption is my fourth startup. And in some ways I am shocked about that. I never thought I'd do this again. I worked in Silicon Valley for a long time and to be honest I thought I was done with it — with starting companies, with the 24/7 pace, with the weird distance between "virtual" products like software and real life, with venture capitalists — my list is long. Not long ago, I felt burned out and fed up. I was so fed up I moved to New Mexico and was pretty sure I wanted to live off the grid and build furniture for the rest of my life.
But here I am. Like Chuckie from the horror movie, I'm baaaack.
I've worked in software development for most of my career. In software, you bring together programmers with specific skills and marketing people who identify a market opportunity and you invent a tool that helps customers manage and leverage information. The "product" is computer code. More often than not, software is an abstract tool you convince people to use. And too often, you don't actually spend enough time with those customers to figure out what they really want and need, you're trying to convince them that the thing your software team wants to make is what they need. I could go on.
There was a lot I liked about developing software technology platforms. The potential to change the world is real. But in my spare time, I enjoy woodworking. I make furniture, doors, cabinets, even beds. I find it so satisfying to work on a given project but then finish it, look at it, use it. With software, your product is so abstract, and its quality and value often are subject to factors you can't control, like management expertise or poor implementation. I didn't like that part of it.
The story of where Inxeption came from is as much about me leaving software development and coming back, and reconnecting with the "real world" outside Silicon Valley, as it is about a software start-up. But it's also about the potential to create a new kind of technology-enabled "craft" manufacturing ethic that provides more satisfaction for both the maker and the customer. We didn't start with new software tools and look for something to do with them; we started with a product, an object people buy and use, and we invented software to help us build and sell it in a better way that creates satisfied customers.
We believe Inxeption enables the "Product Centric Organization." We believe that because we built one with it. And we realized these tools can help companies build PCOs that will make customers who currently have to buy lower quality, commodity products on the manufacturers' terms, much happier. Whatever the product is, we can put it in digital format and we can a enable a new conversation between a manufacturer and a customer that results in better products made through more precise, exacting, and efficient transactions.
Pride in creating the product a customer wants from a shared dream is, for me, the X factor in Inxeption. We could not have had this conversation ten years ago, but the technology is now ready for prime time. If that's interesting to you, stay-tuned.