On April 7th, in beautiful New Orleans, Mercury Network hosted the first Techlab@CRN in conjunction with the Collateral Risk Network’s quarterly meeting. Techlab@CRN was an interactive, invitation-only meeting amongst experts in the valuation vendor management industry, with the objective of gathering expert feedback on the design and function of the new tools Mercury Network is planning, well before they’re released to world.
Why is this event, and others like it, important to the industry at large? With market challenges and the onslaught of new regulations, we desperately need innovation that empowers mortgage lenders to maximize their profits and ensure compliance. We can do incredible things through technology, and help mortgage lenders gain market share and be more successful – but only if it’s technology they want to use.
We’ve learned first-hand that labs like these, where you can get invaluable industry opinions on software designs early in their development, are critical to successful innovation.
Through our participation with PROGRESS in Lending Association’s Lender Advisory Panel, we’ve already seen the benefits. Every year at MBA Annual, PROGRESS offers the opportunity to sit down with their Lender Panel for a 90-minute meeting, to get their unfiltered opinions on anything we ask. The specific, concrete takeaways from those labs (we’ve done it three consecutive years now) are unbelievably valuable and have directly impacted Mercury Network’s success. That’s why we’re very excited to launch Techlab@CRN to open even more feedback channels.
This focus on the customer’s opinions early in development doesn’t just work well for Mercury Network. Every technology company should be seeking early feedback on software design. Steve Blank has an article in Harvard Business Review that does a great job of explaining how the customer-focused methodology works, and how it will help companies successfully innovate rapidly to better serve their customers and become far more successful.
PROGRESS readers are probably already aware of the design revolution inside many of our industry’s technology companies. In our digital age, everyone knows that a technology company can’t just have great marketing and excellent sales people. Since anyone with an Internet connection can find out what their peers really think about various software solutions, the product has to speak for itself. Poor software design, no matter how powerful the tools behind it are, will break even the best façade built by marketing and sales, in a matter of seconds.
The good news is that customer-focused, well-designed software is already proving to outperform older methodologies across virtually all industries. Check out the recent Design in Tech Report published this month at SXSW. Design-driven technology companies are surpassing others because they’re designing software that solves people’s problems, that real people want to use.
That’s our objective for Techlab@CRN. We’re excited to see what the experts at our inaugural meeting think about the appraisal management, quality control, and appraisal compliance tools we’re building. Rest assured, we’ll listen closely, implement their feedback, and continue to release powerful solutions that collateral risk managers want to use.
About The Author
Molly Dowdy has nearly 20 years experience marketing in the mortgage technology space and is the co-founder of NEXT, the mortgage technology conference for women executives. Molly is also a member of the PROGRESS in Lending Association Executive Team. She can be reached at molly@Nextmortgageevents.com.