Today we’re renewing our commitment to the preservation community.
We built Conserv on the belief that we can provide something truly valuable for preservation professionals — a preservation platform that makes your work easier, a set of tools that create a new standard for environmental monitoring.
Many people were initially very skeptical of this vision and many of those people are fans of Conserv today. It’s very satisfying to see that change happen, but of course we still have a lot of work to do — and that’s what this letter is about.
In the spirit of building the best possible environmental monitoring solution for preservation we’re asking the preservation community for feedback on where we can improve.
We’re looking for an honest appraisal of where Conserv isn’t living up to your expectations so we can build the products that preservation professionals deserve. We put together a two question survey to collect your thoughts. We’re going to prioritize your top suggestions.
Here’s the full story …
Nathan McMinn and I began Conserv in early 2019 with very little knowledge of preservation and environmental monitoring, but with a strong focus on our preservation customers. In the first few years of the business, we spent all of our time speaking with preservation professionals to understand your needs. We asked “what’s working for you?”, “what gaps do you see in existing solutions?”, “if you had a magic wand how would you improve things?
Those questions and the feedback we received and the incredible team we built helped us develop a product that nearly 400 organizations use every month to manage their collection environment. It’s a meaningful accomplishment in a market where change comes slowly.
It’s time to get back to speaking with preservation professionals regularly to understand your needs better.
Headed into 2022 rather suddenly things started to click, our business doubled, and we started experiencing growing pains. The biggest pains? Building reliable hardware and managing our technology infrastructure.
We focused on these issues for the last 18 months. Today we’re on track to eliminate our hardware backlog this year and to launch an updated sensor version with much improved battery life, signal range, accuracy, and overall reliability. For our tech infrastructure, we’ve introduced better internal reporting, testing, and support processes to create a more reliable experience for our customers.
These are important projects that we chose to work on for the future of the company, and their results will be felt over the next few years, but they didn’t have an immediate, profound impact on our users’ daily work.
At Conserv we have to continually renew our commitment to creating incredible value for our customers.
Given all the work we’ve done in the last 18 months it’s time to get back to speaking with preservation professionals regularly to understand your needs better. We want to start shipping more meaningful improvements to our users. We haven’t been doing enough of that.
Take this feedback that we received recently: “I see unfounded confidence and a disinterest in experienced users’ experiences … I have seen aggressive marketing rather than genuine curiosity in Conserv’s stance.” It can be hard to hear this kind of feedback, but we welcome it.
Fortunately our team has a belief that problems are gifts, because problems are opportunities to grow. This particular piece of feedback was an important wake up call for us. Our work is never done. At Conserv we have to continually renew our commitment to creating incredible value for our customers.
We’re renewing our commitment to the preservation community – that means listening to honest feedback from the preservation community. Unhappy with something we’re doing? Interested in seeing us go down a new path? Let us know — we’re going to prioritize your top suggestions.
Starting next month you’re going to see a return to our roots. Expect regular surveys from the product team and professional working groups on what we should build next. Expect lots of new feature improvements to be shipped. Expect us to explore a new remote probe sensor for your cases and microclimates. Expect us to act like a preservation partner, not just another vendor.
We can’t fix every challenge in environmental monitoring for preservation, but we can fix a lot of them. We haven’t been doing enough of that lately, and that’s on us. Looking forward to getting back to building the future with this great community. Thank you for your support.
And if you haven’t already, please share your thoughts with us.