Los Angeles, United States
Incredible story of designing, developing & launching an MVP for a LA-based startup in 4 months. The project included mobile & web app development of a unique mix of marketplace and event app with its own currency.
Client & Challenge
Hive Exchange was a LA-based startup with a mission to revolutionize the cashflow during the business events and to provide the event organizers with a better control & overview of the transactions happening during the event. They contacted us in mid April 2019 with an urgent need to develop an MVP of their application after their previous provider let them down.
There were 2 main challenges:
Time - the MVP had to be ready in 4 months and launched by September, as that was when the client was having the first event which it had to support.
Unknown requirements - although the client had an overall vision of the application, they didn’t have detailed requirements prepared. As a result, we had a 4-months deadline with very little understanding of the exact requirements.
Another challenge, although less impactful due to our experience, was a time difference. Throughout various stages of the project, the main stakeholder on the client’s end was based either in Los Angeles or New York. That means respectively 9 hours and 6 hours behind our team in Poland, while the project required extensive and ad-hoc communication.
As a result, the project required a combination of business and technical understanding, ability to understand the client’s business to propose the MVP scope and very precise & swift communication.
Since time was of the essence, already 1 day after speaking with the client for the first time we provided a proposed scope of the MVP, its cost estimate and plan of how to deliver the MVP in 4 months. Since Gecko Dynamics was the only provider that proposed a solution fitting the tight timeline, the client decided to give it a go.
Month 1: We started with Product Workshops and sat down to the drawing board instantly. After 3 days, we provided the client with rough mockups of the main screen that served as a basis for clarifying the requirements which was being done during extensive workshop sessions 3 time a week.
In the meantime, the software team already started with general works, such as environments setup, CI & CD configuration and all other works that could be done without having the detailed requirements.
Thanks to the dedication of both our & client’s teams, after 1 month we had a ready UI Design of both mobile apps and web app as well as the documentation covering the most critical parts of the system.
Months 2 - 4: Right after having the most critical parts of the system clarified and the MVP designed, we started developing the system. We were developing mobile applications in parallel with web applications to speed up the delivery.
After 3 very intensive months of work under intensive pressure, we managed to release the application to the client for User Acceptance Testing 2 weeks ahead of the deadline.
After minor fixes and upgrades requested by the client, we managed to launch the MVP of the system 1 week ahead of the event, which was the ultimate deadline.
After 4th month: After the event, the client continued building the system with us to its more mature state. The development was put on halt in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and effectively froze the entire event business for the next 2 years.
- Managing products
- Receiving the payments in the event-specific currency
- Exchanging the event currency (Hex) to US Dollars
- Event map & agenda
- Networking features
- Purchasing the event currency (Hex) for US Dollars at the event entrance
- Buying goods at the events and issuing the payments
- User management & overview
- Access to all the transactions recorded during the event
Proposing most optimal features for MVP
- MVP in 4 months
- Launch before the deadline
- Product-market fit
The MVP was launched in 4 months which was a big success. The main reasons for it were a sense of urgency, ability to work under time pressure and very strong communication on both ends. What the client praised most was the communication and proactivity to proposing technical and functional solutions.