A Slice on Miguel Ramos, Co-Founder and COO of Limble CMMS
Miguel Ramos’ first encounter with entrepreneurship started with a class he took while earning his Master’s. The class left him with more questions and didn’t teach him much… it wasn’t until he met people who had successfully started companies where he thought, “They’re not super-geniuses, maybe I could do something like that too” and that’s exactly what he did. Ramos is now Co-Founder and COO of Limble CMMS, a software made for maintenance professionals. Limble CMMS was created from user feedback and works as seven softwares in one.
From mechanical engineer to entrepreneur, Ramos had a different view of startups and the entrepreneurial role before stepping into it. At one of his earlier jobs, Ramos was creating medical devices and quickly found that he didn’t enjoy working in the office. In order to be more productive, Ramos took these medical devices to the local hospital to get feedback from those who would be using the product. “I would drive to a local hospital and just say, ‘hey can I speak to a doctor,’ and they didn’t really know what to do with that and they thought it was weird. But I would show doctors these medical devices that I was designing, and in one case, I was told by my company that I had to design a specific device with the major aspects of the design. I took this prototype to the doctor and the doctor said, ‘this will not work for me’ and gave me a list of reasons.”
Following the list of reasons why this product wouldn’t work, the doctor told Ramos that he would use the device if he could fix certain problems. Ramos went back to his boss and told him what needed to change in order for it to work for doctors. He was shocked to learn that his boss did not care, and Ramos was told to continue with the way he was told to design it in the first place. Even though this didn’t sit right, Ramos did just that, and he was not surprised when the product failed. Ramos describes this as being “devastating” because he could’ve created something that had a chance on the market.
It was at this position where Ramos decided he no longer wanted to work for someone. Ramos moved onto his first venture, Interact3d, an online marketplace using augmented reality and 3D visualization, allowing customers to look at a product in a room using their phone. Although he wanted the product to work, it failed and Ramos noticed he made every mistake he could’ve, including not getting in front of the customer enough.
Ramos moved onto his next venture, Limble CMMS, with the original founder, Brian Christianson. Teaming up, Ramos and Christianson were both on a mission to listen to customers and not make the same mistakes again. Shortly after founding the company, they heard employees at a Marriott hotel were unhappy with the software they were using at work. Due to the wide range of responsibilities hotel employees have, Ramos thought simplicity should be top of mind. He went straight to the source and talked to the unhappy employee about what could be improved, and found they wanted a better software. In order to gain trust and credibility with consumers, Ramos set out to talk to as many people in the hotel industry as possible so that they wouldn’t get brushed off as the “newbies”.
During the interview process, Ramos and Christianson were told to not continue on with the product, but they kept going nonetheless. They tackled a rather non-traditional strategy and granted full access of the product to consumers in order to ensure accurate feedback. “We built it off what the customer said, we didn’t try to copy any of our competitors, our interface was totally different.” With full transparency, they received positive feedback and were told the software was the easiest to use compared to others.
It’s no surprise that Ramos measures success with the happiness of his customers. Although it might take longer than expected, it’s important to make sure the customers’ best interest is always in mind. “If there’s a little bit of tension there with customers, that’s not success yet. You want to get meaning to measure successes and when you call them, they’re excited about a feature from your software. That is success, and then from there, every other metric of success that you want will come from that.”
Miguel Ramos holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Utah State University and a Master’s degree in Biomechanical Engineering from the University of Utah. Ramos has held various engineering positions in his early career and is now Co-Founder and COO of Limble CMMS. Connect with Ramos on LinkedIn.