For the final post in our series covering our new direction (links to part 1 & part 2), I’d like to share my thoughts on how it all went. Our team spent months planning out every meticulous detail to deliver Verifli to our customers. Since pollination season last just a few short weeks, we had to work around a very small window with no time for mistakes. If you’ve ever experienced a product launch, you know there are a lot of emotions involved, whether you’re the customer or the one launching the product.
For me, it was interesting to reflect on what the experience felt like before, during, and after product launch. Here are some of my quick journal-entry style notes:
I was nervous. Not for how the product would work, but for the hiccups we couldn’t foresee.
We had spent enough time in almond orchards to have a rough idea of what to expect, but the orchards we’d be visiting in the dead of night were foreign to us.
We had scoured maps of typical hive drops, but we didn’t know exactly what we’d encounter in the field.
We knew we’d be going out to grade hives at night, but we also had things to take care of during the day—we didn’t know when we were going to sleep.
I was mentally prepared for a long 3 weeks, outside my normal work environment, but I was still nervous about the unknown.
I was relieved. Driving around the orchards and finding hives was easier than I’d thought.
We quickly found a rhythm: wake up around midnight, grade hives, work at the nearest Starbucks until sunrise, then go to scope out the next night’s orchard.
This routine would usually get us into bed around 4 or 5PM, so most nights we were able to catch a few hours of sleep.
We weren’t as tired as we thought we’d be, although the fatigue started to compound halfway through the second week.
I enjoyed seeing the growers in person again to show them what we had been working on. I operated day by day to not get overwhelmed by the work we had in front of us.
I was excited. We were finished with the work and we finally had some time to reflect on everything—what worked, what didn’t, how we can improve.
Although the weather took us by surprise, we never ran into any major trouble. Let’s just say I’m glad National Car Rental doesn’t put dash cams in their vehicles.
We gained clarity on some of the major question marks we faced going into launch.
Our whole team got together to celebrate a major milestone that had been on our radar for practically an entire year.
And finally, we slept. In the first weekend back in Bloomington, I racked up over 30 hours of sleep in just 2 nights.
BY THE NUMBERS
To wrap up, here are some eye-popping stats from our 20-day stint in California:
Took 9,759 IR images
Put >4,100 miles and several layers of mud on rental truck
Rained every dang day (just about)
Stayed at 8 different AirBnBs
Tapped into wifi at 11 different Starbucks locations