Featured Startup: Retrium
We want to share one of the new startups that has just joined our startup program, Retrium. With Retrium, you can easily run distributed sprint retrospectives from your browser, so no more flipcharts and stickies needed. Get to know more about Retrium here. We took a minute to talk with the CEO of Retrium, David Horowitz. It gave us an opportunity to learn more about this great product.
What is Retrium and what problem are you solving?
Retrium enables distributed scrum teams to run effective sprint retrospectives. It provides easy-to-use interfaces to a growing number of facilitation techniques, including Mad Sad Glad, 4Ls, and Start Stop Continue. Each of these techniques gives distributed scrum teams a chance to ask themselves, “What is going well? What is not going well? How can we improve?”.
How did you realize this was a problem?
I was previously an internal agile coach and scrum master at a large international organization. We had many distributed scrum teams that really struggled with continuous improvement. We tried everything from “open-mic” retrospectives, in which anyone could speak up at any time, to using online collaborative whiteboards, which lacked structure. As we continued to look for solutions, I simultaneously reached out to a number of scrum masters of distributed teams at other organizations to find out if they also struggled running effective retrospectives. Almost unanimously, the answer was yes. It was at that moment that we realized we had stumbled across a problem in need of a solution.
Who are you and how long have you been building and solving problems?
There are two of us at Retrium. David is our CEO. He is a “recovering” software developer, having spent 8 years as a coder before transitioning into management. He has a Masters Degree in Technology Management from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business. Ryan is our CTO. He’s the technical guru and he’s been coding since he was a teenager. Since we’re an early-stage startup, in reality the lines that define our job responsibilities are more hazy. We both do a bit of everything.
What inspired you to attempt your own startup?
We’ve both had a lifelong desire to build things. In fact, the joy we get from “making stuff” is how we ended up as software developers in the first place. In many ways, building a company from the ground up is just another manifestation of that inclination. There’s nothing quite like identifying a problem that needs a solution, solving it, and then watching others benefit from the product you’ve created.
What makes Retrium unique?
What makes Retrium so unique is that it facilitates the retrospective for you. A typical retrospective consists of a few sequential phases: ideation, voting, and discussion. During ideation, participants should have the opportunity to record their thoughts privately, without being influenced by the ideas of others. During voting, team members should first be able to see all the notes that others have recorded and then vote on the ideas that resonate the most with them. During discussion, ideas should be sorted based on the total number of votes they received, so that the team’s conversation is prioritized and focused. Retrium does all this automatically for you, making it easy for distributed teams to to run high-quality retrospectives.
When can we start using the product?
Soon! We are launching our MVP by the end of June. In the meantime, if you’re interested in seeing a private demo, just go to www.retrium.com and enter your e-mail address. We’ll be in touch shortly :)