Case Study 1: MVP Build

Prsnt | Gifting App

Prsnt lets you choose a gift from hundreds of the UK’s best-loved high street brands and send it directly to another person’s smartphone.

It will even notify you when a friend’s special day is coming up, so you’ll never miss one again!

Company: Prsnt | Industry: Gifting Marketplace | Project: Mobile MVP

Real-time social gifting for friends and family.



  1. Reverse engineer a ~66% complete ‘MVP’ application.
  2. Ensure this time-pressured situation was professionally addressed.
  3. Refactor what code we could.
  4. Make the code maintainable and modular in core areas where the budget allowed.
  5. Ensure the application code was well written and properly documented.
  6. Build strong encryption.
  7. Secure hosting.
  8. Deliver the MVP to the Prsnt team in 1 month.
  9. Assist in the launch of Prsnt by Christmas 2020.


  • Reverse engineer the Prsnt app to determine flows, data structures and functionality.
  • Audit and properly scope the Prsnt application.
  • Identify weaknesses, serious threats: updates and upgrades were required to stabilise the App, big GDPR issues were identified, on top of outdated frameworks and missing hard coded elements.

Create project documentation:

  • We had next to no documentation from the offshore development house who transferred it to Creative Stack.

Manage stakeholders concerns in a fast moving project.

  • Discover the most important state of the features and requirements which would enable a stable live version to be launched in a crowded period (Christmas).

Build a feasible focused roadmap for a 1-month development sprint.

  • Determine the priorities of: Security > Performance > Optimisation
  • Preserve Prsnt’s creative vision in the final application.
  • Remove critical bugs, issues, and re-factor any unmaintainable code into a more modular structure that would be easier to maintain and build new features on.
  • Implement end-to-end to encryption with private keys.
  • Secure and encrypt data storage both at rest and in transit.
  • Host the application on secure servers which can adapt to varying data loads.



React Native Mobile Apps for IOS and Android, Tipsi Library for Stripe Payments, Custom API Integration, Push Notifications with Firebase, Laravel, Maria DB, Tilo Gift Database, REST API over Laravel, Mailgun & AWS.


  • Laravel 5.5/8.xMaria DB with data encrypted at rest on a different server than the API.
  • Tillo Gift Database API integration.
  • Stripe payments integration.
  • Custom REST API developed over laravel.
  • Custom Admin panel developed over laravel.
  • Mailgun for email notifications / email sending.


  • 2 x custom instance on AWS (t2/t2.large).
  • Laravel/backend server.
  • Custom rest API implementation.
  • Background jobs.
  • Scheduled tasks for push notifications.
  • Acts as REST API for the entire mobile app.
  • Database resides on its own server.
  • Data is encrypted at rest.
  • Communication is only done through an internal network.



  1. Used team of creative thinkers, 2 developers and a project manager to deconstruct the offshore team’s development work.
  2. Improved our own processes around reverse engineering.
  3. Taking over an unfinished project, then implementing a strategy to improve the quality of the application.
  4. Our back-end dev ops and the encryption they built.
  5. Seeing the Prsnt teams faces when we finally launched the MVP!



  1. A time-pressured development sprint.
  2. Starting without any documentation from the offshore development house.
  3. Finding unknown unknowns everywhere.
  4. Fixing, modularising, updating etc.. whilst in parallel developing new features made this project a particularly challenging application to get stable and working in time for launch.

Outcomes & Hindsight

Are you considering building your MVP and taking it to market? Then you might find the following article useful: What is an MVP and how to get yours to market.


  • It is difficult, if not impossible, to deliver projects that require quality in a short timeframe with unreliable, low-cost vendors.
  • Such projects often have, at best, patchy documentation and that makes transferring or scaling any project very difficult.
  • Prepare for big surprises and more costs in the long run!


If you cant be there, be PRSNT!

Related Reading

Prsnt | Client Journey Part 1 – A Gifting App For Friends And Family.

An innovative idea for a gifting application turned technical reality; from prototype to MVP on the path to market.

What Is An MVP? And how to get yours to market.

A light-weight, early version of a product (or service) with just enough features to be usable by early customers, but…