I’m excited to announce that Recommended Systems is launching its invite-first beta!
- Friends, colleagues, and early explorers who signed up for pre-launch updates should be getting access in the next few days.
- Shortly after that, we’re going to be opening Recommended Systems as a public beta. Our goal is to do this in early Q4, so hang tight!
What Is Recommended.Systems?
Recommended.Systems is a platform that helps companies be more competitive. That's a little bit abstract and unhelpful, so let's unpack that.
We see competitiveness as based on three things. As a business...
- ... how good are you at meeting your customer’s needs?
- ... how well positioned are you against your competition and the marketplace?
- ... how good are you at making fast decisions and then iterating based on feedback & customer signals?
We've found that successful businesses are good at all three of those things. They are good at meeting customer needs, understanding where they fit in and who they're up against, and are able to quickly iterate to a solution for any challenge.
Of course, that's easier said than done.
So how do you help companies become more competitive?
Recommended Systems is a unified platform for tools, automation, and insights that address each of those aspects of "competitiveness":
- Automation is the key to implementing best practices. Automated things take less time, less effort. By having something done automatically and repeatedly, it makes it more likely for you to capture important signals in a timely way.
From conversations with many different companies, we've found that most people are aware of the best practices they should be – but aren't – following. They'll do something once – such as competitive research – and then that work will get stale and unusable. Most of the time, it's because there's not enough time in the day, or because it's cumbersome. That's why...
- We're building tools that make it easy to keep up with those best practices. These tools turn the output of automation into actionable next steps.
Our design philosophy follows the Pareto Principle: the majority of value is created by just a few features. Our tools provide the two or three primary capabilities you need to get to the next step, rather than trying to be feature-complete or inclusive of every customization possible. By making the tools simple and easy to work with, you can focus on running your business rather than managing your tools.
- We're tying it all together with insights in the form of limited-scope consulting. These are short engagements to solve well-defined problems.
These insights are a combination of workshops and deliverables that help businesses tackle problems without any additional hiring or huge consulting contracts. By limiting the scope of work, we can create predictable pricing, timelines, and deliverables. This makes consultative support more accessible for more businesses.
So... what do I get?
We're starting small, but our vision is big. We're launching with a few key features, starting with upending sales and marketing-focused work:
- Radar is our tool for competitive monitoring. This allows you to monitor your competitor's pages: pricing pages, blogs, feature pages, search results, and more. Each week, you'll get an email digest of updates and changes that we identify.
- Battlecards is our tool for organizing key information about your competitors. Our cards are designed to inform your marketing campaigns, create talking points for your sales team, guide product road maps, and support investor decks.
- Notes are our way of bridging information and action. This allows you to create to-dos, share insights, and make notes to self, and call out interesting things for your team to follow up on.
- We're launching Insights with two initial services: Usability Testing, and Competitive Review. Usability Testing is a way for you to get hands-on testing and reports of your website and app. Competitive Review helps you prefill your Recommended.Systems account with battle cards and radar targets for any competitor you identify.
- All of this is organized through a simple to use Org Manager, which allows you to follow your workflow as you see fit. Want to see all of your Radar scans in one place? Easy. Want to drill down into everything you have on a single competitor? Done.
- We're also going to be launching a public roadmap so that you can see new features we'll be rolling out to you. First on the list is our Performer, which audits your owned web pages for site speed and accessibility.
Why Recommended Systems?
(Introducing the first platform for "Competitive Operations")
“Competitive Operations” (or CompOps if you're cool with DevOps) is a new way of thinking about the roles you need to succeed. We're starting from the recognition that companies with siloed departments perform worse against companies with teams that work together.
Competitive operations brings together sales, marketing, product, and customer success roles into a single "team". The way these roles are defined today, they all tackle a single side of the multi-faceted "competitiveness" puzzle. So by bringing them together, you can shorten the loop between what customers want and what you can deliver to them. We call this cross-team collaboration "Competitive Operations".
Competitive Operations isn't a widely applied practice today because it's not easy to implement:
- Existing competition-management tools are expensive and thus off limits to all but the largest companies. Without good tooling, manual work is hard to keep up with. It gets delegated to associates and interns (if they're available), or the practice gets dropped.
- Standalone, affordable tools that tackle individual problems exist but there are too many options to sort through and they don't work together. As you keep adding individual tools, your costs and time spent managing them can balloon.
By building tools driven by the Pareto principle (the most value from the fewest features) and by bundling them together, we believe that we can make competitive operations something that any business – large or small, B2B or DTC – can take on and excel through.
Just like Wordpress democratized web publishing and unlocked a flurry of creativity on the web; just like Shopify democratized ecommerce and allowed tens of thousands of new businesses to flourish with few upfront costs; just like Hubspot allowed marketing automation and customer analytics to be an accessible practice for everyone... we believe that Recommended Systems can allow every company to be as competitive as a Fortune 500 company.
And we hope you'll join us on this journey.
Founder & CEO
August 24, 2022