Taking Jemini from inception to reality

Date: 15 Nov 2019

Author: Chris Radley

We started the Jemini journey five years ago.

To be honest, the first 18-months were spent trying to transform our existing HR and Payroll products into a single dynamic platform. But at the end of that time, we realised this approach had only produced a same-old/same-old solution with a user experience facelift. It was an evolution, yes. But not the revolution we wanted.

The decision to take a new completely direction was life-changing. We would reimagine the whole solution, from scratch.  

We knew the risks but could see the huge potential it offered. It just needed turning into reality.


Feel the fear

When you start with nothing but a blank canvas you have a scary freedom. On one hand, you can take delight in having no boundaries to your imagination. On the other – you have no framework to keep you on track and focused.

That’s why we asked our team to concentrate on just one thing – solve our customers’ problems intelligently and innovatively.

And this freedom impacted on our team in the most positive ways possible. We uncovered hidden talents for dreaming up new possibilities, and the best people to turn those particular ideas into tangible product plans. Our team discovered new skills and strengths in themselves and emerged as leaders and innovators.

We didn’t restrict the hours people could spend working on the solution. The goal was to come up with the ultimate solution - we’d work out how to productise it later!


Build it, and they will come

To the horror of our marketing department we were very cagey about going public with Jemini. But news leaked to the world (the New Zealand and Australian world, that is) and we excitedly saw early adopters putting up their hands to be counted.

Of course, we’d invested over $5M in development. We’re not naïve enough to expect our bottom line to shift from the red to a nice happy black overnight. Even with buy-in from our initial five customers in 2018, Jemini barely started to pay its way - not even a couple of salaries. Importantly though, it established that Jemini has a viable commercial future.


Sharing the dream

No (great) solution is an island and our close collaboration with early adopters was and still is integral to Jemini’s successful development.

We worked with them in real time, in real environments and responded to their feedback. It made all the difference. To our delight, some of our high-profile customers have even bigger dreams than we do, enabling us to enrich Jemini’s functionality and features even further.


Reality check

Real-life engagement brings us closer to our market. It makes sure we stay true to potential customer needs. It ensures we understand Jemini’s value to their businesses (i.e. the price!) and that we fully appreciate what shape it needs to take in the future to stay relevant.

It makes sure we’re delivering on our dream.

We spend so long immersed in Jemini we sometimes lose sight of just how different it is. Then we do a presentation, and get feedback from prospective customers who tell us how amazingly different our solution and the approach is. That’s when we remember how far we’ve pushed the boundaries. Those are great moments!


Where are we up to?

We started 2018 with five Jemini customers. Now, we have twelve. By this time next year we’ll have thirty. Our commitment to building strong relationships and leading - not following - attracts customers willing to push the boundaries of ‘what was’ to embrace ‘what can be’. We’ve had some surprises too. I’ve always said that Jemini isn’t for everybody. So when customers we thought wouldn’t consider a dramatically new approach also decided to engage with Jemini, we were thrilled and delighted.


Jemini – the good virus

Yes, developing your own IP requires a significant financial investment. However, we’re confident this is an exciting solution with significant long-term value for both our customers and Fusion5.

In the movie Inception, the hero says “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.”

Jemini has been a defining idea. A vision with astonishing potential, that’s becoming a reality.

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