• Burley Kawasaki

Introducing... Tachyon Solutions

What's in a Name? In this first blog post we'll introduce the origins behind the name...

What's In A Name?

A good name establishes your brand and gives a sense for what the company is about. So first a little about “Tachyon Solutions” and the origins of the name.

“Tachyon” was the internal codename for the most important software release I shipped while leading Product and Engineering at Kony. Tachyon was important to Kony not because of customer value or technical innovation – it had both - but because it represented a strategic product and market pivot we made during the life of the company. This experience has shaped the learnings and perspective I have about leading a software startup, its employees, and its customers through a successful product/market strategy pivot.

In its early years, Kony benefited from the explosion of mobile apps used by both consumers and enterprises, and quickly rose to being one of the breakout leaders (the only vendor to make six years running in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant). Kony’s platform abstracted the complexities of mobile and increased the speed of development. However as the mobile market matured, it attracted significant new competition from both open source and also leading cloud/SaaS platforms. While the evidence of this market shift was not obvious at first, over time it became more and more apparent that the mobility market had changed – this was seen by Kony’s declining growth rates and growing customer churn. The Product/market strategy that had once grown the company quite successfully would not continue to be sufficient nor would it yield a successful exit for its investors. A significant pivot was required.

The Kony “Tachyon” release supported the company-level pivot into low-code and digital experiences. While low-code is regarded as a hot trend today, at the time (circa 2015) the category was still very nascent and was just being explored by early pioneers. The Tachyon release expanded the addressable adoption for Kony to a significantly larger target base of users and also simultaneously re-positioned Kony into a faster growing market category; and ultimately it setup the vertical pivot into banking which led to the company’s exit in 2019 to Temenos (one of the market leading FinTechs) which ended up roughly tripling the valuation of the company.

The lifecycle of funding a startup makes this a common challenge for many startups that attain success. While founders obsess for years on how to prove out product/market fit and prove a scalable business model (typically reached by Series B), the road after is equally difficult. It can take years to build a high-growth, successful business at scale and there are often disruptions to the market or competitive landscape which get in the way of a successful exit. When startups get “stuck” and begin to lose focus on a successful outcome… this is where Tachyon Solutions can help.