We talked to Toby Beresford of rise about success tracking, scorekeeping and leaderboard.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Toby Beresford: Thanks for asking; having kids back at school makes it feel reasonably normal.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded rise.
Toby Beresford: I’m a digital media entrepreneur specializing in social media and gamification. Prior to rise, I founded and later sold Nudge Social Media, an agency producing engaging social games for brands.
How does rise innovate?
Toby Beresford: For us, innovation is a twofold process – firstly listening to customer demand, particularly as new use cases keep emerging. Secondly, we have a pruning process where we remove features that only one or two customers actually used.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Toby Beresford: With the move to working at home, we’ve seen a small but noticeable uptick in company managers looking to engage their remote staff through good online scorecards and dashboards.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Toby Beresford: Our main change over this period has been to review partner integrations and remove those who are no longer viable. Our key learning is that data collection is a very tricky part of the scorecard business – it’s really hard to get 100% accuracy when it comes to importing third party data. The lesson is that building a new feature is usually easy; maintaining and supporting is hard!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Toby Beresford: I track both my exercise and sleep patterns using a FitBit. I’ve found that a lack of either of these really affects my anxiety. By tracking and monitoring these key metrics, I can see when I’m not getting enough of either and adjust accordingly. I am also trying to set aside time to read more, but that’s a work in progress!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Toby Beresford: We compete with different companies in different use cases – for public publishing, we compete with list.ly and ranker.com, although neither of these tools provides the data crunching aspect of our service. For internal scorecards, we compete with much more expensive providers such as Spinify and level eleven.
Your final thoughts?
Toby Beresford: I hope that rise will continue to improve gradually and build on our loyal base of customers to be a specialized and useful corner of the internet.
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