Unata CEO Chris Bryson says success means seeing every aspect of business as a product

chris bryson

Since Toronto-based Unata was founded in 2011, the company has been rapidly expanding both its cloud-based retail platform and its team — currently, Unata is at 30 employees and plans to grow to 60 by the end of the year, and last year was identified as a Deloitte Fast 50 company.

Speaking at TechToronto, Unata founder Chris Bryson identified the philosophy that he says contributes to the success of the company: applying a product mentality to everything.

“A successful product has nothing to do with the idea. I can firmly say this because our idea for Unata was exactly the same as the business plan six years ago,” Bryson said. “It wasn’t the idea that got us here, it was the people.”

While finding strong talent sounds like the basic startup rule of thumb, Bryson said that a good team still has to buy into a series of smaller products within the company to get them engaged; everything from company culture to investor presentation should be looked at as a product in its own right.

“Great products usually rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of details. That makes things complicated, but luckily, there’s a shortcut.” he said. “There’s a shortcut. Recognize that there’s a disconnect between what you see and what you want people to build. But we’re visual creatures, and it’s important to harness that. One of the first things I learned that’s really important is hiring a designer is probably the most important first hire you can make.”

Watch the whole video for more on Bryson’s four key tips for building great “products”: