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Alfredo Sciascia is a C-level executive originally from Sicily who now lives in Boston, MA. He began looking for developers to build an MVP for his social media startup. His search led him to Salsita, who recommended marketing research and UX exploration as crucial first steps before kicking off development.
Alfredo was very vocal and supportive when we needed his input. He’s not the type of client to sit back and wait for results. He was enthusiastic and passionate, yet realistic and ready to accept our conclusions provided they were backed by solid research and evidence.
“After a week of meeting and brainstorming with the Salsita team, it was clear that there was a true interest in testing the idea from the perspective of the client, not necessarily a desire to pitch or sell more work. So generally I feel that Salsita works in the interest of the client in mind and if something is not working, I know that they’re going to tell me that. Even though that means not doing any more work. To me that is invaluable.” Alfredo Sciascia - Founder, Legazey.
The Idea and the Vision
Legazey, a social media aggregator, allows you to see the feed of your favorite people and channels across various social networks in one place. What sets Legazey apart from similar social media aggregators is the ability to create a personal timeline of your life. You can gather your favorite memories from the social media apps you use to be preserved in a single location—creating a digital scrapbook that can be shared with friends and family.
Receive an invitation to join Legazey free when it launches Click here to sign up today
First Steps and Prep
Alfredo wanted to validate the concept and see if there was a product market fit. This is an essential first step when developing any new software product. Anyone who skips this phase is increasing the probability of failure and risks spending money on developing an app that no one wants. At Salsita we don’t believe in luck. Numbers do not lie and we know how to get them fast without overspending.
We teamed up with Alfredo and put in place a plan of action based on our initial conversations and a few brainstorming sessions. It was pretty straightforward: find out if there was interest in this type of social media aggregator. However, that wasn’t enough to justify starting development just yet. There were specific boxes that had to be checked in order to get started.
The Main Goals
- Wanted users to express interest in the app and see willingness to pay a small fee
- Wanted to know what the conversion rate and cost would look like
- Needed feedback from users to help us build the first prototype
A Small Team
Jan Mikula, our Director of Product, and I have worked together on several projects. If I had to describe him in one sentence, I’d say: “The guy lives and breathes user experience.” When you combine my marketing expertise and his UX experience, those skills make for a powerful team. But, our small team wouldn’t have been complete without our key player, Alfredo, who is a senior research and strategy executive himself.
“If I have 10 hours to build a startup. I would spend 7 hours with research, 2 hours with design and one hour with development. Alfredo has exactly this mindset and that’s the reason why I believe Legazey will be successful.” Jan Mikula - Director of Product at Salsita Software
- No app to show people
- Find people to provide feedback on the planned app
- Keep the advertising budget at minimum
- Collect more than 100 surveys and early sign-ups
- Establish the estimated cost and rate of user acquisition to forecast the business model
- Interview more than 10 users to better understand their pain points and interests
The beginning presented some challenges because of the lack of assets and data from which to work. This phase gave us some direction, but yielded even more questions.
We ran campaigns targeting anyone interested in social media then, by studying campaign performance and the users who signed up, we defined an initial persona and optimized our campaign. This process narrowed the target and brought us closer to our niche.
Not everyone who signed up submitted a survey. To compensate for that minor bump in the road, we surpassed our original goal of 100 completed surveys, with more than 40% interested in the app and 20% willing to pay a small fee. Alfredo also helped us conduct more than 10 interview calls, which was invaluable in setting the stage for the prototype design phase.
We also achieved an acceptable cost for user acquisition and tried scaling up the campaign. From that we maintained the flow of user conversions (in the form of user signups)—a critical data point that showed us if the audience group would be big enough to sustain a business.
“In the beginning of the marketing testing, I had some broad goals in mind—like getting a certain number of sign-ups and surveys completed—and they were very ambitious. But Salsita’s flexibility in the approach of finding the right way to test the concept allowed us to achieve our goals quickly. I was really amazed that we could do that.” Alfredo Sciascia - Founder, Legazey.
Expanding the Team
To help manage the workload, we brought in UX Designer Katerina Kelepouri. She helped gather feedback from social media groups and did separate research based on conversations around the topic, which yielded valuable insights.
Then Katerina teamed up with Tomas Novella, a project manager and talented full-stack developer. Together with Alfredo, they conducted a Design Sprint workshop in order to spec out the first MTP (Minimal Testable Product). This, in turn, was beneficial for user testing. All this effort finally enabled us to show potential users something and receive detailed feedback.
Another key member of the team was software engineer Stepan Sojka. Since the nature of the app required a lot of integration with social media platforms, a technical feasibility study was in order.
Stepan took charge of checking every aspect of the features we wanted to develop. He was in constant communication with Alfredo and updated him on new findings that resulted in a thorough analysis of what was and wasn’t possible. We discovered that some social platforms did not provide all of the desired features via API, but nothing which would block development.
The Legazey Continues
Our final green light was to confidently move forward and start planning the development and outlining the requirements of the MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
It’s been exciting to work on this project and I’m looking forward to seeing Alfredo’s idea grow and mature into an actual product. I’ll be happy to take care of it and expand the marketing activities to bring this exciting future app into the hands of the right people.
Unlock your own app idea
Find out more about various tactics in this article: How to Unlock Your App Idea and Forecast Your Profit and Loss. Or, to get more info about Product Discovery and Market Fit Analysis, download that here.
If you have an app idea, or any questions, do not hesitate to consult us at Salsita.