What is the best way to determine the viability of a product? Do you have to have a Minimum Viable Product, or is there a faster, cheaper way?
There is a faster way: Rapid Prototyping. Here is the story of how TheRecordXchange had a prototype built by Srijan in just 7 weeks with only one person!
Further, the prototype was liked by potential users, so TheRecordXchange understood the real market for the product. The prototype was also liked by investors, and the team received funding for the actual product development.
How it Began
TheRecordXchange team had been working with Srijan for their earlier company, AVTranz, which is a leading provider of digital recording management and transcription services for courtrooms, hearing rooms, and public meeting venues throughout the U.S.
AVTranz had deployed applications in Drupal to enable their workflows, which had serious performance issues. They had contacted Srijan to help resolve them. The relationship that started in 2013 as a small contract has now grown into a long-term relationship, where Srijan plays the role of a business and tech thought partner.
In early 2014, the company started considering the idea of building a platform based on the workflows already in place. The legal transcription industry would find such a workflow very useful. Small transcription companies and one-person shops would be able to leverage technology and realize efficiencies in their business. This was the thought driving the idea. They called it TheRecordXchange.
Rapid Prototyping Validates Product Idea
TheRecordXchange team shared their requirements for the product. Srijan spent some time understanding the requirements remotely and shared wireframes and photographs of whiteboard discussions. Discovery workshops were conducted remotely. “We put together our ideas on everything we wanted the product to do,” said Shourya Swarup, Director of Product, TheRecordXchange.
A click-through prototype was developed using HTML, CSS, and Angular. This prototype took about 7 weeks to build with a lean team of one person, and was ready by July 2014.
This is how the prototype panned out.
A whole lot of whiteboarding, snapshots of which were shared with the TRX team
The TRX team shared the process map with us
We created wireframes based on the process map
And the click-through prototypes were built
TheRecordXchange team took this prototype to potential users and VCs. The users included some enterprises considered big players in the transcription market. The product was also shown to mid-sized players, as well as single-person shops. The users found it of great value. Investors also gave approval, and TheRecordXchange team received funding for the product. According to user feedback, users realized the prototype was ahead of its time in terms of existing market requirements. The target audience was people working from home or part-time—homemakers, and most users were not IT savvy. Hence, the product needed to be simple to use, with few adoption hurdles. Thus, a number of the envisioned product features were dropped, and a much leaner and minimal product was focused on.
With only a prototype developed using Srijan’s Rapid Prototyping approach, the product idea was validated, and TheRecordXchange team decided to proceed with developing the platform.
Benefits of Working With Srijan
With Rapid Prototyping, TheRecordXchange was able to test the product’s market viability and user interest. The team was also able to obtain the funding needed for the product development.
The team was able to discuss and envision the product features with Srijan through remote discussions. Not having developers in close geographic proximity never presented a problem.
“One of the biggest benefits of working with Srijan has been the level of expertise we have been able to leverage. This team knows what it’s doing,” said Swarup.
“If I had to rate Srijan on a scale of 10, I would rate them 15,” concluded Swarup.