Start with gallons and coffee. Add no sleep. No-no-no to socializing. And definitely, no whining.
All kidding aside, you can build a solid 1.0 product, quickly, if you have a strong MVP (Minimum Value Proposition/Product) defined. It also helps to have a great client and great existing graphical assets.
We connected with DigitalPour in late March. They were preparing for the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia and wanted to know if there was any chance of getting an iOS App written and available by the May 1st conference start.
We asked what they wanted and they immediately said, "Not a ton, we just want a presence in the mobile space for the conference." We took a look at their menu API and realized it was clean and could be very consumable by a mobile App.
We said, "YES! Let's try and make it happen." We wrote a very quick little specification outlining what would be doable and still give the App enough time to get through Apple's Review cycle.
They didn't have a specific design, but their Web-based digital menu dashboard is packed with wonderful assets: good color schemes, great layout, font choices, barware graphics, etc. We wanted to match the actual digital menu as closely as possible. People are familiar with its look and feel.
We dove in and worked through communicating with the API (Application Programming Interface) first. It's key to identify the most important and/or most difficult tasks, and tackle those first. If you burn too much time there, then the lesser important tasks naturally will fall off the initial release list.
We kind of feel like we were cheating, a little bit, on this particular project. The API was stable and debugged. And their technical resources were very quick to answer questions and make the couple of modifications we needed.
Some of the benefits of defining and executing a limited MVP are:
Establishing a bite-sized budget to test the waters. If it misses the mark, you aren't out a huge amount.
Getting to market quickly to start the response cycle. If the App is received well, you can start listening to customer needs more quickly and start responding to those needs almost immediately.
Having a smaller initial App helps both you (Client) and us establish trust and gauge how the relationship may (or may not) evolve. We want to show our competence as quickly as possible so an ongoing relationship becomes an easy choice.
Stomaching an MVP release can be challenging. You clearly know that you are releasing a product that will be screaming for added features. The good news is that you have features you can still add on a reasonable schedule and also add user feedback to the process.
We want to congratulate DigitalPour on a great team effort that resulted in a great 1.0 App with nothing but upside potential. ONWARD!
Check out the DigitalPour App @ http://bit.ly/digitalpour