At intent, we specialize in creating MVPs. We have delivered more than 50, which gathered almost $0.5B in funding to this day. We have also developed a large arsenal of methods to make MVPs, from which the Design Sprint seems to be one of the most versatile. How to build an MVP, then?
Before we answer this question, let us define some terms so that we are on the same page.
What is a minimum viable product?
At intent, we understand the MVP as the smallest collection of the product's features that realize the end-users' needs (in line with the Product-Market fit). Building an MVP means delivering a product with crucial functions while spending as little money and time as possible. We have grounded experience in building MVPs from scratch to launch and beyond. We also understand the startup ecosystem's pace; we know the realities of early-stage companies: you have to satisfy its investor, co-founder and customers. And they all have different needs! Through 12 years of our commercial experience, we have learned how to meet all of them.
How to build a minimum viable product? The method
According to CB Insights, 42% of startups fail because they don’t tackle marketing problems. They chase something interesting to them, not necessarily their end-users. While ideating MVP, we help our Partners validate if their insight is a real market problem. If it isn’t, we aid them in rewiring the idea to meet the Product-Market fit.
What’s the Design Sprint?
Design Sprint is a battle-tested workshop framework based on the design thinking approach. Its goal is to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service, or feature to the market. It is a shortcut to learning without creating and launching a whole, complex application. So it is perfect for building the MVP!
It was invented at Google by Jake Knapp and perfected with more than 150 startups at Google Ventures.
Why is Design Sprint a go-to method while building an MVP?
Design Sprint is one of the best choices when:
- There is a need to validate the idea or find a solution for a big, complex problem,
- The company operates in a disruptive market, so it needs innovative solutions,
- The team that takes part in the process should align on a joint, clearly defined goal and vision,
- The users’ feedback is crucial in the process;
As you can see, all these features define the common MVP building situation. With Design Sprint, you can also prevent the 7 deadly sins while creating an MVP.
How to build a Minimum Viable Product with Design Sprint?
The Design Sprint process consists of several stages. They are basically the same for the regular DS process and the DS for MVP creation process:
- Pre-sprint research
Collecting insights, benchmarking and market research
- Problem mapping
Defining challenges and producing multiple solutions
- Decision making and story-boarding
Choosing the right path and creating a visual user story
- Building a prototype
Creating an interactive prototype and preparing for testing
- Testing with users
Gathering and analyzing feedback from target users
Not a marketing tall tale; a few short case studies of startups that raised money with our help
At intent, we never are only words. When we claim something, we have experience and data to back it up. Browse the following short MVP case studies to become a believer.
Polaroid SWING was a UK-based company that reimagined photography for the mobile era. They brought an entirely new visual medium to life: the moving photograph. Tommy Stalden and Fred Blackford founded the app and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone backed them up. Simultaneously, the man behind Instagram’s original filters, Cole Rise, was responsible for the creative direction. Intent co-created the SWING MVP and worked with the founders, their product, and development teams beyond the MVP. We helped SWING until the broadly covered acquisition by Microsoft in 2017. One of the intent’s back-end developers, who worked on the app, also contributed to the official Node repository.
We supported SWING in building their server infrastructure too (which reduced the server costs by 37%).
We cooperate with SWING’s founders to this day by supporting their efforts around the new ventures.
Watch SWING’s showcase to learn more about the app which intent helped create and shine.
Block has raised $17M in Series A from several New Enterprise Associates.
Block simplifies the chaos and construction costs by bringing design, sourcing, and management all under one roof.
Intent's team went all the way from Poland to the Block's HQ in the USA to better understand the product and get a broader view of the client's business. We've fuelled Block with professional services consulting. This included transferring our lead developer to Block's team to help them grow further and help build out the engineering muscle.
Our partnership included significant involvement from our C-level at every stage of the way too. We owned the tech workstream and all its business angles while delivering a successful MVP, which brought 1M of sales in the first 6 months after deployment.
We continued with Block past the MVP stage of the project.
Lover raised $5M from Tinder’s Founder, Sean Rad, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and several other notable VCs.
Lover is a sexual health app that provides online therapy at a fraction of traditional psychotherapy costs, with no face-to-face conversations required.
Lover was an early-stage startup idea when they asked us for help. They had already had some code and a credible concept. Our entire team onboarded in 4 weeks and hit the ground running. We rose the product-market fit of the app while involving our C-level executives in the process.
Soon after our collaboration Lover raised their $5M. Intent also decided to invest.
Not only did we facilitate a full Design Sprint here, but we also provided Lover full MVP-as-a-Service, during which 2 developers we delegated to the project delivered at the power of 4.
- The Design Sprint is one of the most versatile MVP ideation methods
- The Design Sprint is a method invented and perfected by Google
- intent specializes in building effective MVPs fast using Design Sprint and other methods
A minimum viable product example; Goodify’s case study
We decided to go with this story because it’s the best to describe the Design Sprint for MVP process (and the Partner allowed us to share it in detail).
Today Goodify is an application focused on encouraging people to do good deeds every day, thus forming supportive, happier communities.
During our pre-sprint research, we have discovered that people actually withhold from asking for help. Psychological studies show that there are substantial barriers that hold people back from asking for help. Our major challenge for the MVP was to lower that barrier for Goodify users.
TACKLING THE ISSUE; THE PROCESS
Pre-sprint research; we conducted a series of interviews to define the problems and determine what the process of asking for help looks like in various organizations, foundations, and associations.
This provided a good basis for the workshop. As part of Expert Interviews, not only did we interview the Stakeholder and collect the team’s insights, we also went through the interviews conducted during the research and discussed the most important outcomes.
Workshop; the first step during the workshop was a joint discussion about the research results from the pre-sprint research phase. It was based on interviews with target users of the application as well as organizations focused on providing aid. This helped us understand and define the main issues.
During the lightning demos - which is an exercise focused on finding inspirations and useful practices - we reviewed different products on the market that are solving problems similar to our own. Inspiration presented by people from different areas of expertise provided interesting and extremely varied references, all of which helped us during the following stage when we started working on our ideas for the MVP.
Using the dot-voting technique, we quickly chose two ideas (instead of just one) that we wanted to prototype and test to find a final MVP. One of them was a classic form to request help, another a chatbot.
Prototyping; creating two prototypes instead of one during the sprint was a considerable time challenge. Nevertheless, we were able to prepare both prototypes in time, working on two solutions in parallel. The classic form was designed in Figma, while the chatbot was created using landbot.io.
Testing; we recruited seven people for testing from the following groups;
- Mothers with small children
- People that get help from (or work in) the local social assistance center
- Non-tech-savvy people
We asked the users to request help using both the classic form and a chatbot. The purpose of the tests was to check which of the two solutions would translate into faster task completion and an overall positive assessment of the experience.
A CONTENTED PARTNER'S QUOTE