I was out in the back country of Montana recently with my nine year old son, Max, and I re-learned a lesson about focus. Max has caught the photography bug from me and asked to use my camera to take a picture of a flower. He then asked me to take the same picture of the same flower to see how they compared. When we uploaded the pictures to the computer, the difference in focus became apparent. See pictures below. As you see, what we focused the camera’s lens upon made all the difference. Max let the camera select the focus point (picture 1) while I used the manual focus to make sure the flower was in sharp focus (picture 2.) The result was two completely different pictures of the same 8″ x 8″ patch of ground. Perhaps a week’s vacation made me more reflective, but I felt this lesson is one that can be easily transferred to Foundant’s daily life as well as how we hope to interact with our clients.
At Foundant we tend to live in the now. What we focus upon is what is clear to us to be the most important priorities. We try to limit our focus to just a few items at a time to make sure that we get them right. We want each priority to be detailed so there is no chance of mistakes. However, there is always the risk of missing the bigger picture.
As we approach 300 clients, the diversity we have in the type of grantmaker and how they use our solution, makes it more difficult to clearly determine the best way to release new product features. We have clients that processthousands of grant or scholarship requests per year. They are regularly asking for batch features to reduce key strokes, mouse clicks and to save them time. We have other foundations that may only do a few grants a year but they are highly varied in their grant application requirements and grant reporting requirements. These foundations are asking for as much flexibility in Foundant GLM to meet their needs as possible. We have clients whose board members are heavily involved in the evaluation process that want us to make it easier for their infrequent users to use GLM.
All of these requests are legitimate suggestions and we take every one seriously. What we need from each of you is to take some time to go through the Idea Lab and either vote (1 star is not important, 5 stars is very important) and / or comment on the ideas your fellow users have posted. For Foundant to do the best job for our clients, we need to understand everyone’s perspective.