Each year we receive a handful of enquiries which we would describe as ‘concept’ projects. ‘Concept’ projects are websites with rather complex functionality, they are usually directory based with sign up features and account functions for users to be able to login and access certain features. This type of enquiry often goes the same way, bar one project which went ahead.
Often the enquiry is, a bit all over the place to say the least. 9/10 we will receive the enquiry via a phone call and will try to make sense of the idea and usually there is a lot of functionality and ideas the caller hasn’t even thought of yet. Once we give them a rough price, much of the time we never hear back, and the project never sees the light of day.
On three or four occasions we have moved one step closer to the project proceeding and a second call has taken place or a meeting. At this stage, having spoken to them once already, their idea has grown 3 – 4 times larger than the original enquiry. We go from having a website, to having an App built on both Android and iTunes with all singing and dancing features. Inevitable the idea dies in the water after this meeting.
I did mention above; one project did go through to completion and the big difference between that one and the other enquiries is that they had a full brief with functionality written up by the time they got to us. You can check out Kalm Pilates here.
So Whats This Blog Post All About?! It’s About The Technique I Have Used To Launch My Concept Projects And It Can Help You Too!
I believe one of the key reasons why these projects never even get past the phone call or progress from the meeting from is because you can easily become overwhelmed by how much is needed to bring the project to fruition. I have been there many times with some ideas I have had, even redesigning the Cude Design website seemed like a huge job and inevitable faced delays as I felt overwhelmed.
As the idea grows, so does the complexity and inevitable this will also directly affect the price to create the website for your idea. This adds a double negative, not only is the project huge but now the price is spiralling, and you haven’t even thought about marketing the business yet! POOF…your interest suddenly drops, and you come to the realisation that the idea is just not feasible.
Personally, I have launched a handful of complex projects and we are on our third version of the Cude Design website. Not only have I been involved in online projects but any other business I have been involved in I have used the same method of building the idea.
The Skateboard Development Methodology
Last week while catching up on some cryptocurrency news and in particular, Ethos and this is when I first came across ‘The Skateboard Development Methodology’. As you can imagine, a website project pales in comparison to the complexity of a cryptocurrency, but this methodology is a perfect blue print for you to follow to get your idea off the ground and up and running.
* This picture was taken from Ethos.io
The above example of the ‘Skateboard Development’ solves the issue of trying to travel from point A to B. We can translate this to your online project, how can you begin to build brand awareness to then lead on to creating revenue. If you are to use development process of the car, you are unable to move from destination A to B until the car is fully built, it needs wheels, body and an engine to begin to work for.
By using the ‘Skateboard’ method, once you have a skateboard, you can already travel from A to B, it might be slow going but at least you are moving! Over time you can upgrade to a scooter, then a bike and eventually a car. Every step of the way you are getting quicker and you can travel between A and B, long before if you had used the car method.
This is the same as your upcoming project. What is the minimum you need to get yourself moving? Do you really need an app for Android and iTunes when you have no users yet? Do users really need to sign up and create a profile when you haven’t even created your branding? By using The Skateboard Development Methodology, you can get something of your project launched quicker than if you want everything at first and you can keep the costs of the start-up remarkably lower.
It also gives you the added benefit of testing out your idea before investing too much time and money, only to find there is little interest.
Great ways to start off with your skateboard
- Create a Facebook page and invite your friends to join. Begin creating posts and the ones which seem to get the most ‘likes’, ‘Boost’ them to see if they gain wider popularity from a bigger audience.
- Begin blogging about your chosen subject matter. If you are not too technically sound, create a blog using Tumblr or head over WordPress.com and create a free account.
- If you do create a small blogging website, add Jetpack or Mailchimp to it. This way you can start collecting peoples email addresses.
- If you do have a little bit of a budget to employ someone, get in touch with a qualified agency and discuss your idea. Try sitting down with them and creating a roadmap. This is an excellent way of breaking down the project into milestones and you can see how the project will unfold over time. To do so, a real good agency might require a fee. I would personally see this as a good sign for both parties.