Tutor Tango. Take your teacher with you.
We Got Out of the Building!
Friday, April 19, 2013

If you’ve been following our blog lately, you may have noticed that we like to draw parallels between entrepreneurship and education. Here we go again...

About two months ago, we joined Tomer Sharon, a UX (user-experience) expert and author of It’s Our Research, for an online interview. Sharon presented a series of questions about our own experiences as a tech startup, and one in particular caught us off guard: “What does the expression, ‘Getting out of the Building,’ mean to you?” We scratched our collective heads, because the expression meant nothing to us. We hadn’t done our homework; if these words were metaphorical, their meaning escaped us. So, as teachers, we naturally responded that “getting out of the building” is simply something we do at the end of the school day or--on occasion--during lunch or a fire drill.

Ha.

Like any good, resilient student, we looked up the expression as soon as we could (read: immediately after the interview). As it turns out, “Getting out of the Building” was coined by Steve Blank, a founder of the Lean Startup movement and author of several books on entrepreneurship, including The Startup Owner’s Manual. Basically, the expression has to do with getting out of your office (in our case, logging-off of our website) and engaging your customers to find out what they think about your product or service. “Getting out of the Building” is important because, as Forbes contributor Todd Warren put it in a recent article, “it’s too easy for [startup] teams to become stuck in the echo chamber of their own thoughts and biases.”

So last week we took Steve Blank’s advice: we “got out of the building” and hosted a focus group meeting. Nine parents whose children attend a wide range of schools in New York City, including Beacon, Collegiate, Columbia Prep, Dalton, Dwight, Fieldston, Hunter, Stuyvesant, and Trinity, joined us in a computer lab for two hours. They explored our web site, viewed a demo of our learning interface, completed an extensive questionnaire, and participated in a detailed follow-up discussion with three of our staff members. In sum, we learned a lot from them and gained some critical insight into what parents think about Tutor Tango.

From the valuable input of these parents and the results of surveys administered to over 200 students in New York private schools, we’ve learned what our customers like and don’t like about our site and our service. Because our main goal is to provide the best possible tutoring experience for students and their parents, we’d like to go one step further and invite anyone reading this blog to do the following:

1. Explore our web site: tutortango.com
2. Fill out this questionnaire.

At the end of the questionnaire, you’ll be able to give us your email address. As a token of our appreciation, we’ll send you a special voucher good for $25.00 off your first tutoring session!

Please, help us keep our eyes and ears open to what’s going on “outside of the building.”