2023 was a wild ride. Here's everything that happened and a sneak peak at 2024!
Ignition evolved a *lot* in 2023. Here’s everything you may have missed.
Ignition is turning 2 years old and we’re still hard at work on our master plan to help Product and Product Marketing leaders to build what sells, and sell what they built.
This year was bananas. We officially came out of beta. We supported teams building and launching products across SaaS, pharma, film, apparel, and even an art project! We helped launch products, brand campaigns, and all sorts of more stuff like newsletters and events. We helped 2 person founding teams stand up their early product discovery processes, and we helped 10,000 person enterprise companies to operationalize repeatable GTM processes that enabled Sales to close deals and Marketing to grow pipeline.
All of that allowed us the chance to hear you all rave about us, like Christine who’s been able to turn PMM into one of the most strategic orgs at MRI Software.
Oh, and we were pretty busy launching things of our own (using Ignition, as always). We shipped over 100 releases, 2 new products, and 15 major-ish campaigns in 2023. Almost every week this year, we added significant features and significant UX improvements. 2024 has even bigger stuff in store, so let's look back at what happened, and what’s happening.
What YOU loved and didn’t love in 2023
Building things that sells starts with YOU, our customers, and the feedback you give us. So lets recap where we delivered for you, and where we fell short.
Things you loved:
- Our Vision – Universally, you all really, truly believe in the mission for what we’re building. You can see the future and a world where Product, Marketing, and Sales are 100% in sync, rallying around a shared source of truth that uses AI to *actually* automate your day-to-day work and surface actionable insight.
- AI-powered Research – Getting access to competitive intelligence and customer insights with just 1-2 clicks or a simple integration really blew you away. Being able to marry that research to your planning was just icing on the cake.
- AI-powered Roadmapping & Sales Notifications – Y’all love your AI. But, we agree, being able to auto-generate a roadmap from customer conversation data, and then automatically notify Sales reps when those features ship, IS preeeeeeetty darn cool.
Where we dropped the ball:
- Onboarding / First User Experience – We do a LOT. All that power sometimes translates to confusion though. Lots of you signed up and got overwhelmed, or couldn’t figure out how to really use the product. It wasn’t you, it was us. We realized that our onboarding UX was super-not-great and we weren’t doing a good enough job educating you on “how it all fits together”, so we spent a lot of time in Q4 upgrading this. Today, if you create a workspace, you’ll find sample data and clear guidance on setup.
- Small UX Frictions – There were a bunch of little microUX things that were frustrating. We got a lot better as the year went on, but there were still small things like filters missing, unclear button states, and other little friction points that made parts of the product feel less-than-great. We spent ALL of Q4 this year cleaning this up, and just shipped our biggest update of the year with a 360 degree overhaul of the app’s frontend, which turns all of this from “annoying” to “crazy delightful”.
- Data Quality – Admittedly, we had some stability issues this year (even as recently as last month) with some of our integration partners that resulted in occasionally incorrect data pulling through and less-than-great AI outputs. This too, has been resolved heading into January.
What changed in 2023
For a complete recap of Ignition’s current state, check out our newest demo video.
But here’s the highlights from this year:
End-to-end product lifecycle management
Ignition started as a launch management platform – and we’re still striving to be the best in the game at helping you bring new things to market and sell what you built.
But we also heard from you that you wanted even more support earlier in the product lifecycle. You had gaps that still needed solving like customer research, and roadmaps that weren’t just glorified project management tools. So in 2023, we expanded to full-cycle product lifecycle management by adding comprehensive research, discovery, and roadmapping tools for Product teams. Now you can research your market, understand what customers are asking for, prioritize what to build, and then package that roadmap up into launch plans – completely end-to-end, without sacrificing any of the functionality of a more narrow product management tool. This helps your product, marketing, and sales teams truly align on plans, while still working their way.
AI for voice-of-customer insights, roadmapping, and campaign content creation
One thing you seemed to agree with us on this year is that you don’t just want another project management or documentation tool. You don’t want to just document and track your work, you want a tool that helps you do the work.
That’s why in 2023 we added a ton of powerful AI-driven automation. Now you can automatically generate competitive intelligence, analyze large volumes of customer conversation data, extract roadmap insights from CRM data, auto-notify Sales when features ship, and even generate all the campaign collateral for your launch plans in a single click.
Fixing broken things, and improving ease of use
Last year around this time, we overhauled and fixed our GTM planning tools to go from “powerful but confusing” to “super delightful”. This year, at your urging we did the same thing with our Research and Build tools.
Most of our Research and Roadmapping tools were new as of mid-2023, which means for large parts of the year they had key features missing, bugs, or confusing UX. In Q4 we paused all new development to do a complete cleanup pass on the entire product, so these sections are now up-to-standard as best-in-class tools for their respective use cases. Logging in today, you’ll find slick, powerful, and insanely delightful experiences platform-wide, and it’s only going to get better.
What’s coming in 2024
2024 is all about ROI – helping you prove it, and helping compound it on an ever-improving basis as you use Ignition more and more.
Launch impact measurement
We’ve been teasing this one for a while, and admittedly it’s fallen down the list in our roadmap as we got pulled into building all the core planning tools. But it’s FINALLY coming.
In ~March or so, you’ll be able to integrate all your analytics – product analytics, CRM data, even revenue data from Stripe – and we’ll automatically generate “lift” reports that quantify the real, business impact of the things you built and launched. You’ll be able to see clear visualizations of before/after performance across key metrics, and even tie that measurement back to specific features or OKRs.
Your own personal AI, trained by you for you
What if your company had your own, private, always-learning LLM? In Q1, we’re turning your ENTIRE Ignition workspace into a tailored LLM that uses all the knowledge you’ve stored in Ignition to tailor outputs, enable Q&A, and continuously improve our recommendations to you.
This is unbelievably powerful, because now every piece of collateral or planning documentation you generate will have context on your past plans and content, so it’s always on-brand, on-message, and on-strategy. And, because our workspaces provide structure and time-scales to your data, answers you get will be dramatically more accurate than any other enablement tools on the market.
Ignition. But deeper.
We’re slowing down “big new thing” launches this year, and focusing on going really (and we mean REALLY) deep on the products we already have. This means more intelligence and dynamic recommendations/assistance, deeper integrations, and 1,000x better user experiences. Ignition will become your personal copilot to the point where you’ll be able to kick back and practically let it drive itself.
Thanks for hopping on our little spaceship with us
We’ve seen hundreds of amazing products this year on Ignition, across so many amazing teams.
Your feedback – whether it’s bug reports, feature requests, constructive criticism, questions, or raving to us about how much you love the product – all helps us build a better product for you. And when we build a better product for you, you can launch more products for your users.
We have some HUGE announcements coming in January, and we’re thrilled to have you along for the ride. We have a lot of work to do in 2024, but we can confidently say that by the end of this year you’ll never have seen a platform as mind-blowing as Ignition. If you have thoughts on how we can improve Ignition, please reach out!
From all of us at Ignition, thank you for being part of our launch team.