Associations and the Tragedy of the Bow and Arrow

Rola Staff
February 2022

Written by Tyler Gebhart

For the last several months, Rola has been in constant evolution.

We've gone from marketing our app to college students on the University of Arkansas campus to pursuing organizational contracts with country clubs. It's hard to imagine two more disparate demographics, but we tackled both head-on. Needless to say, passion has never been our problem.

I would characterize the last year as a relentless pursuit of product market fit. If you think that sounds pretty cool, you're right. We think it does too. However, despite being catchy, this sentiment is not entirely auspicious. In fact, it can come with a unique set of challenges.

The interesting thing about relentless pursuits is that they often involve red herrings and rabbit trails. For us, this was learning that in many ways, Rola is more valuable to organizations than it is to individuals. We went down many paths that, in retrospect, didn't make much sense. But, it was a necessary part of our evolution as a company.

I've been using a metaphor recently that encapsulates this idea well. Imagine you're in a dark room, and you have to hit a target. You have the choice between an AK-47 and a bow-and-arrow. Since your vision is limited, it makes more sense to grab the AK-47 and spray the room. The alternative is to slowly shoot one arrow at a time, blindly hoping to strike the target. One way is methodical, and the other way gets results.

This isn't to say that there isn't ever room for method. Oftentimes, planning and preparation foster success. However. there is also a time to "fail fast." Sometimes that means you miss a few shots.

Thankfully, this approach has enabled us to qualify leads and (eventually) discover the need for Rola within professional organizations. Our Groups, Events, and News features have blended together effortlessly to create a robust membership engagement platform. Now, the entire Rola team has essentially been re-designated as Sales Reps. Over the last several weeks, we've been constantly emailing, calling, and leaving voicemails to association directors. We believe that we have a solution to the communication epidemic that has plagued organizations, and we're selling the hell out of it.

At Rola, we discourage the use of bow-and-arrows. Instead, we want to hit targets, and we want to hit them as fast as possible.

Thankfully, we believe we've finally hit ours. Welcome to Rola for Associations.