…A question faced by all entrepreneurs but particularly ‘non-technical’ founders that require tech solutions. Even knowing where to start can be a challenge. Having struggled with previous tech partners, Rupert Ballinger, CEO & founder of Wundar, recruited Digital Village to guide him through the process of developing their private mentorship platform.
Rupert had spent the previous 12 to 18 months conducting customer research & was sure his private mentorship platform served a real purpose. It was time to start developing a product but not coming from a tech background put him in a daunting position.
“It was challenging,” he recalls. “It was hard being a non-technical founder. I had trouble finding the right technology partner to help build Wundar & take me on that journey. I was really looking for someone to sort of hold my hand and help educate me and my team and give me the opportunity to learn about what we’re actually doing and how to do it.”
Rupert had raised a considerable amount of seed money but spent much of it with previous agencies building prototypes (too much by his own admission) that continued to fail. He felt previous tech partners were too focussed on the tech itself rather than helping him develop his initial idea into a product that solved a real-world problem.
“It’s key to find a partner like Digital Village, who can really roll up their sleeves and get into the trenches with you at that early stage and really help you on that discovery phrase. It’s the biggest challenge & I think it’s the software agencies that need to be responsible for helping startup finders find that market fit without spending too much money.”
Sprinting To Success
After an initial meeting with Digital Village, founder Jason and DV Producer Jithesh hosted a workshop with Rupert to understand Wundar, its requirements and the problem space. An end product was then mapped out & broken down into four smaller modules.
Digital Village utilises a 20-Day methodology that divides projects into 20 day iterations (or sprints). Each 20 day sprint has predetermined outcomes for a set cost. The agile methodology reduces risk and wastage & ensures the correct product is built from the start through continuous testing & feedback throughout the process. Although general outcomes are predetermined, each module is flexible and based on both the needs of the business for the month & results of the previous module.
Wundar UI on IOS
Module 1 // Proof Of Concept: Functions such as onboarding organisations, user registration, profile set up. Mod 1 allowed Wundar to get early users on board & experience the app to determine what the next module of work should include.
Module 2 // Add Social Media Features: Introduced a newsfeed, the ability to create content posts with text, image, and video. The MVP was released to both the App Store & Google Play Store.
Module 3 // Build ‘Events’ Feature & Upgrade Messaging: Real-time chatting was added with the ability to share images & documents. Improvements/ fixes were made to features developed in Modules 1 & 2.
Module 3a // Trial user feedback was gathered & improvements made based on the user experience of the new & existing features.
Module 4 // Private Groups Within A Private Network: A group chat feature was also added & further improvements made. Wundar now had a fully working product.
“I’ve heard too many stories where startups and founders run out of money, close the doors because they spent too much in the initial prototype stages. They couldn’t get into the market; they couldn’t even get it to the market… and they go back to the workforce. It’s a sad story & I almost got to that point. It’s a bit of a miracle I got through. So that’s why I feel so strongly about how important the agile methodology is that Digital Village has adopted.”
Having met all requirements, Wundar has launched as two native apps on the App Store & Google Play Store. The service is being trialled with three different groups & 50 new users are being onboarded each week. As a partner of Wundar, Digital Village are continuing to develop further iterations of the mentorship platform & share Rupert’s excitement for the future.
“We’ve got a great product and two native apps. It’s been cost-effective & we think we’ve got real market fit, so it’s really exciting,” adds Rupert.
Who is Wundar?
Wundar is a private mentoring network that allows you to connect and engage with your own community in a safe and secure environment. Communicate privately, stay up to date with community news, and search your network for mentors.
Sketched prototype utilising design sprints
Amazon Web Solution
Angular Java Script
Private Social Network (invite only)
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