On a recent episode of Reid Hoffman’s Master of Scale podcast, “The Big Pivot,” Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack discusses the point that every founder reaches when they realize that a pivot is necessary. The way that a pivot is handled can truly determine the success of failure of your business.
And while the pivot has become quite the buzzword, the difficulty of this pivot for founders is something that doesn’t get spoken about as often. It can truly be an emotional ride, even for those founders who are accustomed to change. Emotions running high, it can be hard to let go of the original solution that one had dreamed of. But the most important thing a founder can do is listen to what the market is saying. The original solution is the beginning, but the product the market needs is the future of the company.
PondLeap’s story is no different. Our original solution was solving a problem we knew existed. We have been successful, but it was incredibly high touch, and the amount of impact we were able to make was limited in relation to the demand. After listening over this last year to our clients, foreign companies, and expats (among many other advisors and users) we learned that there was more we could be doing to bring a truly remarkable product to market that is needed by many. This wasn’t an easy or small change. A lot of thought and work went into bringing about our new solution; but, today we are delighted to share what we’ve been working on.
“What do you do with an idea that isn’t working? You kill it.” – Reid Hoffman
Old Solution vs New Solution
Originally PondLeap set out to solve one problem – help international companies build out sales teams and strategy in the United States. We did this using fractional teams to assist in testing their market strategy before committing to full time hires. As we grew, we expanded our offerings to startups both international and domestic alike.
The more conversations we had with clients and prospects, we kept hearing the same thing over and over: companies needed help in more than just sales when entering the U.S. In researching this need, we spoke not only with companies, but with individuals who have moved over as well (many of whom have also started their own businesses). We were fortunate to talk to so many people willing to share their stories, their struggles and their hopes for how this process could have been smoother and a more enjoyable experience overall.
When we peeled back the layers even more, we learned two important things:
- There isn’t an automated one-stop shop available to fulfill all of the supporting needs when relocating, and;
- Foreigners and foreign companies are vital to the growth of America.
This is why we reimagined PondLeap as the first platform providing guided access to resources, content, and community for foreign born individuals.
PondLeap sets you up for success by automating the tools you need, all in one place, to make your new country feel like home.
When moving or, PondLeap will help figure out what needs you will have upon arrival and where you can go to get those completed. As an individual who has already settled, there will be a community and resources to help with the ongoing challenges of being away from “home”. We hope to address the needs you might have missed and make sure that the transition to a new place comes and smoothly and effortlessly as possible. We believe that by helping both foreigners and foreign companies get settled and succeed in the U.S., we can help create more jobs, provide quicker integration into communities, and stimulate the U.S. economy all while supporting local communities and helping companies build more diverse workplaces.
Service to Tech
In order to provide the best solution, we are building a tech-enabled platform to connect our users with needs guidance and access to our partners. This platform will be a unique space in that we are building off of a B2B2C model. We aim to connect companies in 6 different categories (operations, culture, real estate, legal/governance, employment and finances). This model means we connect through the following channels:
- Partner Network – providing services across the 6 categories to our end uses.
- Business Users – Access to the support, tools, and data-backed guidance to help them match with the right partners to get them setup and settled with all their business needs for U.S. operations.
- Individual Users – Connecting users with community, resources, and partners to ensure that they are move in-ready upon their entrance to their new homes.
While a lot has changed, we’re still respectful of our roots.Our lotus remains the centerpiece of our logo and is more relevant than ever. For a lotus to bloom into a beautiful flower, it has to go through an amazing journey through darkness, dirt, and muck. It’s not an easy journey but, similar to many moving to the U.S., once it arrives it’s a beautiful new beginning.
We are also dedicated to upholding and building a business upon our initial core values:
- Humans before business
- Diversity, equality and inclusion always
- Follow the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated
- Take LEAPS of faith
- Drink our own champagne
- Be both humble and celebratory
- Get sh*t done but respect the balance
- Be accountable and reliable
Welcome to PondLeap.
If you are an immigrant who is in the process of, or has already moved to the U.S., please sign up and join our community! If you feel so inclined, share your Leap Story with us. The more stories we hear, the better we can build a solution for everyone. If you want to find out more about becoming a partner, we would love to chat and if you want to just learn more on what we are doing, hit us up.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us, given us feedback and been there for us. As we said, we are just getting started.