Startup of the Week: InVision
Welcome to the fourth edition of “Startup of the Week” which will feature many great startups and interviews with successful business heads. This week, I have interviewed Clark Valberg, the co-founder & CEO of InVision. I’ve asked Clark a series of questions regarding InVision and also regarding tips for budding entrepreneurs. Have a read at what he had to say.
How did the idea of InVision come about?
InVision was born to solve painful workflow issues we dealt with everyday at our product design agency. Stuff like presenting lifelike, clickable prototypes to clients, working through feedback and revisions, and managing our design process efficiently and transparently. Originally, we built it as an internal artefact to make our agency better, but our clients liked it so much we decided to launch it as a standalone product.
Simply, what does your app do?
InVision helps product designers build and iterate on life-like, interactive prototypes quickly and easily. It also supports the feedback processes for review and approval of new designs—allowing stakeholders to provide feedback in context, on the prototype itself.
Did you have a business plan?
Honestly, we were a completely different company, focused on selling services, not on clients! But, after we decided to launch InVision on its own, we definitely put a business plan in place and moved forward from there with intention.
What were the boundaries you faced when creating InVision?
When we launched, we didn’t run up against any hard boundaries with money or competition, but we did run up against some startlingly engrained user behaviour. Designers had been designing “their way” for so long that any changes to that workflow weren’t always welcomed or wanted, even if the change would fundamentally improve their entire design process. After users understood that we didn’t want to change their creative process, just the frame they design in and the surrounding workflow, we were able to grow at a really fast pace.
What is the difference between you and your competitors?
Many of our competitors have amazing products and we are really excited to see the general design landscape grow. I’d say the most key differences in our products are due to differing opinions about the best creative process. We believe that product designers should have more ability to solve major business challenges, and we want to provide them the tools and methodology to do just that—which is why our tool focuses on high-fidelity, finished-looking prototypes that allow a designer to present a complete design concept without having stakeholders get stuck in abstractions like wireframes and sketches. We also focus much more on collaboration and creating better ways for the broad network of project stakeholders to provide feedback.
What were you doing before InVision?
Like I mentioned in an earlier question, my current CTO and I were running a product design agency in New York. I was a designer and part-time developer, and Ben, well—he’s the real technical brain at InVision.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Focus on design. Today’s big players who are disrupting major industries (like Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, etc) all understand the power of well-designed, beautiful products with delightful user experiences. Being just usable is not enough anymore—even B2B applications are being affected by this growing end user-centric trend— consider amazing companies like Chartio and Mailchimp. Design is not just about aesthetics—it is the door by which your customer accesses your company, and by proxy, you, as the founder. Why wouldn’t you want that access to be immensely useable, sticky, and beautiful?
I’d also say make sure you are hiring the right people, both as professionals and humans. You need people you can trust implicitly, who “get” your vision, and who are aligned with your thinking and will make good choices.
What is the one thing you think an entrepreneur should focus on that they may not find important?
Take the time necessary to get to know your staff’s stories, and make sure your team does the same thing! This makes them feel seen and appreciated for who they are, as well as solidifies a culture of openness and support.
“Take the time necessary to get to know your staff’s stories. ” – Clark Valberg
In one word, describe your job?
I’d like to say thank you to Clark for this interview. Have a look below at InVision’s social links. Get in touch if you want your startup to be in the running for an interview.
InVision’s UI Kit: DO
Headquarters: New York, NY, USA
People: Clark Valberg, Ben Nadel, Vipul Patel, Clair Byrd, Caitlin Epstein, James Dixson and many more!
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