OSA: A Journey through crisis

OSA: A Journey through crisis

Article  ·  March 2021 Por Diana Morales, Leader UX en OSA.

We face crises. Always.
We do it as a species, individually and collectively since our very creation.

When we created OSA ® it was no exception. Having dived in headfirst into digital venture and entrepreneurship almost a year ago, we found ourselves upon either a new chance within the uncharted or a new focus towards experience and our previous industry network.

OSA ® was founded as an idea, regarding the application of known lessons of human transformation as a consequence of mobile digitalization. In other words, how to change the way you work based on your phone.

And every year on this journey has come with a crisis.

1st year “The road that can be named is not the true road”

We started developing solutions for retail store on-shelf availability, with supervisors and warehouse workers as users, and supermarkets as clients.

For a small enterprise, the quest for survival based on a big company is nearly impossible. Therefore, our first crisis was about pursuing the retail client as a user.

2nd year “Let’s save the world”

Then we designed one of our most beautiful solutions: OSA Mayor (as in spanish for the big dipper), an electronic geofencing system with a map interface and a product finder, later known as an “in-store ‘Waze’”.

We even came before what supermarket chain ‘Target’ released back in 2017.

Nonetheless, an even bigger crisis was waiting for us, worse than the short term enterprise vision and proyect lifespan in our market. Our quest for amazing solutions like this one brought us upon another dilemma: Was being more productive going to make us sustainable?

OSA Mayor gave us dreams among the stars, and also a lesson: Just as real as facing a crisis, was getting out of it.

3rd year “Who we are”

OSA Mayor remained just in our dreams. For now.

We lost our way, almost lost our hope, and sadly, we had to break apart one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with.

… Only our vision remained and that’s what we’ve grown to value the most to this day.

In order to survive we dedicated ourselves to software development as required by clients, just as a software factory, but with a difference: We sacrificed our profit and decided never to ignore our vision towards technological development and the responsibility we had on making it closer to the people.

The only way was holding ourselves responsible for creating the future we wanted, and making our clients take part in this challenge.

This road, although difficult, was endured year after year by the balance between the hardships of aiming for sustainability versus the growth in our sustenance.

4th year “Closure”

And then, our biggest crisis yet.

Upon lack of profit, the possibility of shutting down felt imminent.

What could we resort to, now that everything has failed?

To everything we learnt everytime we faced failure.
Our experience.

We knew how to spring business models based on client requirements, and better yet, we knew that our value was not in our name, nor our software, nor our cash flow, not even in our patents. The value has been in the team all along.

5th year “Evaluating OSA as an addon”

Enter 2020 and our team stands together as one. We foresaw the new crisis that came along with the pandemic, and now we knew how to face it.

We even managed to use it to our advantage, anticipating what our challenges would be, and what our clients would need. We used that to our favor and were able to grow a bit more.
So we received an offer to become part of the world’s 3rd largest software company. Would OSA become just a plug-in of a bigger service?

6th year “OSA Spa 2021”

This time, we start our crisis. Knowingly.

We decided to turn down the offer and keep going by our own means. We have a vision and a vague idea on how to follow through. An impetus, a team.

We will keep facing crises, with our experience, individually and collectively, taking advantage of the opportunities granted by the journey into the uncharted.

In honour and dedication to all who turned this enterprise into a sweet sentence. With the best regards to everyone who went away and may come back, and with the utmost respect for everyone who helped us become who we are today.

See you around!

Roderick Woolvett

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