Home » Episode #430: Addressing Frustrations and Creating Solutions | Laura Munkholm from Walla

Live from the floor of the March 2023 IHRSA Trade Show in San Diego, host Pete Moore welcomes Laura Munkholm, President and Co-Founder at Walla

Laura, seven months pregnant with her second child, was running her Yoga 6 location and facing a frustrating lack of insight into her teacher's performance. Determined to find a solution, she partnered with Doug Hecht to create a game-changing product in the face of fierce competition. Laura chats about her  journey of identifying frustrations and building solutions from the root cause and shares invaluable lessons learned, the importance of connection and community in entrepreneurship, and the power of understanding diverse perceptions in design. 

Regarding the importance of experience and understanding a vertical, she states, "When I looked at competitors, I saw a lot of companies that were either underfunded, undercapitalized, and who had experience but didn't understand what it was going to take to build a competing product. Or, I saw tech people who could raise some money but didn't actually understand the use cases of the industry."

Some key moments: 

[00:01:42] Corporate sales career to yoga studio success.

[00:04:32] Yoga industry charges what it's worth.

[00:10:18] Running software company, feature requests, experience, version two, waiting for fixes, asking for sale, MINDBODY and class pass partnership, frustrations.

[00:14:43] "Prioritize feature set based on experience."

[00:19:57] Prioritize salespeople who understand industry and software.

[00:21:11] Successful conversions, exciting new studios, streamlined migration.

A few key takeaways: 

  1. Identifying a frustration or problem is crucial before starting a business or pursuing an idea. Solving genuine problems leads to valuable and successful products.
  2. Building a quality product is essential in a competitive industry. Researching and understanding the industry's use cases is important to create a robust solution that meets customers' needs.
  3. Prioritizing tasks and features is a critical skill for entrepreneurs. It can be helpful to partner with someone who excels in prioritization to ensure the business focuses on its core mission and goals.
  4. Understanding and empathizing with the target audience is crucial for effective sales and marketing. Hiring salespeople who have experience in the industry and can speak the language of clients can help build trust and rapport with customers.
  5. Diversity in design is important to ensure that products and user interfaces cater to different perspectives. Taking into account how different groups perceive colors, structures, and design can lead to more inclusive and user-friendly experiences.

Click here to download transcript

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