Reflections on Pinpoint’s Recent Announcement

Nevo Alva

Like many in our industry, I read Pinpoint’s recent announcement with great interest.

(Long story short: Pinpoint is shutting down its current product, an engineering analytics software platform, and pivoting to a workflow collaboration tool.)

As a co-founder and CEO myself, I applaud the bracing honestly of Pinpoint’s leadership. I know how attached we can get to what we’ve built – and the serious guts it takes to admit when things aren’t working.

It also helped clarify for Pinpoint’s users what has probably felt like a confusing period of shifting priorities and lack of investment.

But most of all, it made me even more excited about what we’re building at Acumen.

You see, we’ve set out to tackle some of the same challenges that Pinpoint did: the misalignment, process overhead, and guesswork that software teams face as they scale. We’ve seen how all too often these issues result in low velocity and unhappy teams.

In their announcement, Pinpoint called out a few tough lessons they’ve learned along the way. These setbacks resonated deeply because they’re challenges that we’ve worked hard to solve since day one.

  • The importance of building for the team: Pinpoint experienced the pains of adoption when they started with reporting tools for execs. At Acumen, we recognize the importance of providing visibility to engineering leadership – but our focus has always been on solving day-to-day prioritization and alignment challenges faced by the team itself. Team leads, release managers, and delivery managers are our champions. We obsess about the decisions they make in our software every day.

  • Making life easier for users: As Pinpoint highlighted, the challenges of data overload and a confusing user experience are real. At Acumen, we hold ourselves to a simple standard: do we make life easier for our users? It’s not enough to surface data and reporting – we must hold ourselves to the standard of delivering only the most important and actionable insights. That’s what machine learning has been core to our product since day one, and why we continue to invest feverishly in R&D: to relieve our users of the burden of having to look for relevant actions and decisions in the data.

  • Data architecture and scalability: Pinpoint discusses challenges around the expensive and time-consuming process of retrieving data. At Acumen, we architected our system from the ground up to ingest massive amounts of data from different systems, unify it, and analyze it to provide key recommendations. Our customers rely on us to keep their engineering teams humming, day in and day out.

We, like Pinpoint, discovered that the problem is more difficult and nuanced than we realized at the outset. But every time we talk to our vibrant community of customers and hear about the obstacles Acumen is helping them overcome, we’re reminded of just how important this problem is to solve.

Finding product-market fit is the hardest thing in the world – and we’d never take pleasure in the struggles of another company, even a competitor. We wish Pinpoint all the best in their exciting new endeavor.

In the meantime, we’d welcome the chance to share more about our vision and product with members of the Pinpoint community. Feel free to get in touch and we can start a conversation.

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