Evenflow is the creation of a team of leading LA psychologists and sound engineers with a vision to bring a more scientifically-based, flexible approach to teaching mindfulness and meditation through an online app. After 18 months of work and investment recording hundreds of meditations and building the Evenflow app the team had found themselves facing a sea of well-funded competition and unsure how to progress with their vision.
Dave Williams, a Chameleon partner, and 20-year startup veteran stepped into a strategy role to see if we could prove out the concept and find a path forward. We brought in an interim customer acquisition expert from a leading competitor to run small-scale market testing, supported that effort with design and web development resources, and conducted in-depth consumer research to understand whether and where strategic gaps still existed. Concurrently, we began canvassing our contacts in the VC community to understand the investor landscape and likelihood of Evenflow raising outside capital to fuel its growth.
Our consumer testing showed some promising niche opportunities but the differences were subtle – perhaps too subtle in what was fast becoming a commodity market for meditation content. The VC message (from over a dozen interviews and meetings) was even more unequivocal: the category is moving too fast and is too crowded for a newer entrant to attract enough capital to compete directly.
It was not a message we were eager to deliver, but years of startup experience have taught us that “failing fast” is a crucial discipline. It can save years of founder heartache and wasted investment. So we advised the team to take a more organic path of building the Evenflow business: make it an extension of their robust private practices, rather than as a stand-alone app trying to compete with behemoths which is exactly what they have done.
By bringing rigorous, multifaceted objectivity to the business we helped the Evenflow founders understand the real business challenges they faced before they had invested millions of dollars and years of their lives.
Chameleon doesn’t make money when we advise our clients not to pursue an initiative, but you can always count on us for objectivity and sound business judgment.