sample of pia's story by shred o tour on a cell phone screen

We’ll Build Smart

How we’ve helped Pia get started with an awesome MVP

Overview:

We loved Pia’s app idea from the minute we heard about it.  As an avid skateboarder, she wanted to make an app where skateboarders from around the world could compete in virtual tournaments, get to know each other, find sponsors, and build a following.

She had put an incredible amount of thought and effort into the idea already – she had amazing ideas for a huge number of really cool features and functions that could go into the app.  She had a little technical experience, but needed someone who could build a fully functioning app.

Our take:

Firstly, we thought the idea was really cool, and we were blown away by the amount of detail Pia had already thought through, which we found really exciting.  She had a clear vision, and even though a first-time entrepreneur, she obviously was serious about making this happen.

We were excited about partnering with her because we felt that the combination of her vision and passion, with our technical expertise could be a win-win situation.  We also had some creative ideas for how to start small, and also to add some cool elements that we thought would enhance her vision even more.

How we helped:

The first thing we did, and which we always do with our clients, was to really make sure that we understood the vision for both the technology, and Pia’s business model.  We wanted to know where this might go in the future, and what the most important elements were to start.

We knew that the idea, while very easy for users to understand quickly, was actually pretty complex on the technology side – with lots of moving parts.  With this in mind, we set out to steer towards doing what is called a Minimal Viable Product, or MVP in software lingo.  An MVP is a good first version of an app – which has the key features, is fully functional, and is designed so that it can be added to in the future without having to start again or re-do any components.

With this in mind we suggested starting with some, but not all of the features that she had in mind.  We worked together to land on the most important features that she definitely wanted.  We analyzed the rest and made suggestions for some items to leave out of the first version.  Together, we landed on a list of features that we were both happy with, and that resulted in a much lower project budget.

We also knew that it would be really important for this kind of app to be intuitive and fun to use.  Specifically, the core essence of the app is facilitating tournaments where skaters from around the world upload videos of tricks, and the crowd votes on which one should win.  With this in mind, we suggested using a fun, and commonly relatable structure for the tournaments – which was to model them after the popular March Madness college basketball tournament, with brackets and head to head matchups until a final winner is decided.  Pia liked this idea, and we were very happy to help contribute with a creative approach – together we decided to implement it.

We’ve worked closely with Pia throughout the process keeping her informed of each step and sending regular progress updates.  We’ve also included her in the testing process, which has been particularly important because this app has more complex functions to test than many – so we wanted to make sure to make her a part of the process.  Because of the complexity, testing took longer than expected – we have greatly appreciated Pia’s patience and understanding, and have kept her updated every step of the way.

We’re delighted to have recently had the MVP approved in both the Apple and Google app stores, and are excited for Pia to start getting beta users.  We’ll continue to provide tech support and bug fixes during her beta run, and hope very much to work together again when she’s ready to build out the next version of Shred O Tour!

Download it here:

Where things stand:

We’re excited to be entering the beta phase, where Pia can start getting the first real users into the app to start hosting and participating in tournaments.  Feedback from users is always incredibly valuable, so we will look forward to hearing their ideas so that we can build with them in mind in the future.

In the client’s own words:

“I’ve worked with YourCTO for almost a year now. Their service and communication are amazing. They include me in every part of the process, and have contributed great ideas that have made my app cooler! Impressive service overall! I love that I am seeing the results that I had envisioned and their progression. I am looking forward to continue working with them in future versions of my app.”

Pia, Founder, Shred O Tour

Key Points:

  • Helped streamline the idea to start with an MVP that would have a lower budget
  • Built MVP in a way that future features can be added without having to redo anything
  • Contributed creative new ideas that helped improve the user experience
  • Regular and honest communication with client – when facing unexpected delays told client right away and kept her informed