Prsnt | Part 2 – A Gifting App: MVP -> MMP

Prsnt Founders David Parr CMO, Omid Moallemi CEO tell the tale.

The MVP (‘Minimum Viable Product’) is a lightweight early version of a product/service with just enough features to test the concept and attract the funding needed for the next stage along the development path: MMP (‘Minimum Marketable Product’). The MMP….well, it’s exactly what it sounds like- a more developed version designed to get the traction, the scaling and, hopefully, that billion-dollar IPO down-the-line!

The previous case study talked about how Prsnt took their idea for a gifting App to MVP status, with the help of Creative Stack.

Let’s have a quick recap….

The Story So Far

An innovative idea for a gifting application hit serious development issues with their offshore technology partners. Issues with documentation, miscommunications (not helped by the language barrier), a lack of attention to detail… What seemed the prudent financial choice at the start; to bolster their in house tech team with outsourced talent, was proving more difficult than they envisaged.

They had a month to launch a product that was 70% complete and one of the lessons they had taken from their previous start-up experience was knowing when to draw the line under a relationship that wasn’t working.

They knew exactly what they needed- to refactor the code and turn that 70% complete product into an MVP they could ship – but there were serious concerns that their software partners weren’t the guys who could take them there.

The clock was ticking.

They reached out to Creative Stack.

They needed an actionable, realistic plan to audit the implementation, plus a roadmap to finalise the app before their rapidly-approaching deadline. They needed skilled developers. An experienced, honourable team to fit with the founding team. They needed someone who spoke their language (literally and figuratively).

” We needed someone to match our vision and deploy it the way we wanted….somebody who would listen to us, side by side, to help us execute what it is we have in our mind…to be able to bring that product to the world…”
– Omid Moallemi, Prsnt CEO

And with Creative Stack’s help, they got the product back on track: re-engineering to stabilise the app, fixing the security issues and completing the missing security requirements. All in time for their Christmas 2020 deadline. Ho ho ho!

That was then, so where are they now?

That roller-coaster got them their MVP. The road since has been a more familiar, more enjoyable and altogether less bumpy. The time-tested ‘MVP to MMP route’.

Here’s the 1st part of the journey, just incase you missed it.

Prsnt: MVP to MMP

Prsnts and Awards

By Christmas 2020 they had got where they needed to be. And then some:

As well as taking home the Silver Prize in the Mobile App Awards 2021, winning the South Of England Prestige Award for Gifting Company of the Year AND making ‘Sussex Business Award Finalists’, they also secured the main prize they were aiming for: the extra funding needed to take the project from a Minimum Viable to their Minimum Marketable Product.

And here’s how they did it…

The Next Step

Having demonstrated their proof of concept, Prsnt got the funding they needed to take them on the next stage of their journey.

From here they took stock of where the improvements could be made and how.

” We already knew enough from the MVP to see what the international, scalable product needed to be….it was important at that point we had the proof. We also had the platform that could scale….”
David Parr, Prsnt CMO

They looked at all the performance flow. The overall UX/UI. The whole logic of the app, in fact. It looked great, yeah. And it clearly worked. But where could it be better? Could it be streamlined?

Together with Creative Stack they redesigned and refined the app closer to the ambitious vision of their creators.

They ironed out kinks with the dashboard and were able to make significant improvements with the business platform and the API. The infrastructure itself was reworked too.

The concept itself was founded on the empathetic ideals – the pressing, un-satisfied NEED for people to be able to send more than a low-value text message of congratulations on their loved one’s special day – and all the while their design process had a strong user-focus. They never lost sight of who they were building for.

” We wanted to build something the customer will love…we know success will follow that.”
Omid, Prsnt CEO

An interesting development arose during this further testing and design phase:

A New Direction….Ahead of Schedule

” The c2c play was the initial concept…but a lot of feedback from customers was ‘can we use this for business’… they saw the potential for driving/incentivising… so from there we were able to build and spec out a business platform.”
Omid, Prsnt CEO

Whilst the business market was one at the back of the mind for further down the road, they decided to accelerate its incorporation. Luckily, thanks to their over-speccing of the hardware they were already 80% of the way there!

” The efficiency savings in budget and time (by Creative Stack) meant that we were able to move that saving towards something that we felt would propel the business forward. And from a marketing point of view, it’s made my life a lot easier.”
David, Prsnt CMO

From here they released the second version of the app and things went from strength to strength.

” The big question was whether people would take the technology and use it in a way that would help the user-growth plan… and growth-hack it… and the simple answer was, yeah, it does.”
David, Prsnt

And that was their journey.

Not without it’s drama but thankfully they were able to utilise all the benefits their previous experience brought to the table:

” We’re ‘start-up people’; we understand the process and enjoy the process. A company will come to win this ‘space’ and that company will be us. Our aim is to see it through.”
Omid, Prsnt CEO

So, after all that, are there any parting lessons the guys can share? Any wise words to help future entrepreneurs as they take their tentative first steps?

Omid leads with a moral you will likely have gleaned yourself if you read the first part of this case study…

” Don’t buy cheap if you don’t have to. Do whatever it takes to have the right team behind you from day one – aim to work with people that share your vision with you because it will be better in the long run.”
Omid, Prsnt CEO

And David:

” Try and have the discipline to keep pulling yourself back to the primary problem and the simplest solution. That will give you the proof that you are on the right track to solving that problem: one piece of proof based on one business objective. Build out having mastered one foundation stone.”
David, Prsnt CMO

I hope you enjoyed their journey. I’d like to say a big thanks to all the team at Prsnt- Dan, Hamish, Louis, David and Omid – for taking us along on their journey with them. A journey neither of us are ready to get off just yet!

And they were nice enough to share a few kind words for the part we were able to play in getting their project back on track and well on its way to realising their lofty creative vision.

” Anyone can outsource staff…but CS go that extra level. What you bring in is quality and that’s what makes it such a good-value proposition… the way you work with a massive, vetted network of talent across the software and design spectrum is brilliant. The plug-and-play kind of financial agreement is exactly what we needed: experts, in controlled sprints, with good project management and budget control.”
David, Prsnt CMO

I’ll leave the last word to Omid and what may well be the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me…

” I didn’t have to shout at anyone. I haven’t had to get on the phone and shout at anyone. The fact that I haven’t done that means that you’ve done a great job!”
Omid, Prsnt CEO

Greg Whitfield,
Founder | Creative Stack.