VC-Backed Leader in Linux Services and Solutions Guarantees Strong Debut with PDC Program
- Guarantee market acceptance at first product launch.
- Accelerate 16-week process to nine weeks.
- A focused direction for the company ensured stronger ROI on resources and capital.
- Deep knowledge of customer issues, needs and culture.
- A totally revamped Web site better accommodated customers.
- Market-Driven Product Definition (MDPD®)
Levanta (previously Linuxcare), initially a provider of professional services and solutions for Linux and open-source technologies, was a start-up when its founders approached PDC. They were in the process of developing their first major product and had to know -- not just guess -- what the target market needed. As a pioneering services company, Linuxcare's success depended completely on understanding its customers' problems. Its founders and developers needed to deeply experience their customers' environment.
Unlike the traditional ad hoc way of gathering data, MDPD offered Linuxcare a repeatable and methodical process to understand the gaps in fulfilling customer needs. As part of the MDPD process, Linuxcare pulled together a cross-functional team to meet with selected software vendors and corporate enterprise users.
"We thought we had the answer to what customers really needed. We found that our assumptions didn't match customer realities and learned to view our own biases from the customers' perspective. That made a huge difference," says co-founder David LaDuke.
Using MDPD, Linuxcare proactively developed the right solution the first time around and created a solid road map for future development. With PDC's collaborative approach to solving product development issues, Linuxcare not only gathered the knowledge it needed, but all team members developed proficiency in a process and set of tools they could use again and again.
"You need a process like MDPD at the front end, because if you don't build the first offering in a way that attracts customers and gets them excited, then you won't ever get to that level where you can iterate and improve," LaDuke concludes.
Thanks to PDC, Linuxcare management felt confident the company was headed in the right direction -- a feeling confirmed by its receipt of $33 million dollars in venture capital financing.