What we’ve learned during a Google Design Sprint

Over the last few months we’ve been implementing cryptocurrency payments in the HoReCa and retail industry. We’ve gained a lot of insight, which has allowed us to make significant improvements in our technical and sales strategy.

Meanwhile, we were observing the market and existing solutions like BitPay, Coinbase and BitGo. We’ve carefully analyzed what their pros and cons are, and decided that we have to offer a lot more than just cryptocurrency processing or exchange.

The biggest push for redefining the value of our product was given to us during Google Design Sprint which we successfully accomplished a week ago. That’s one of the most exciting methodologies that we stumbled upon. The biggest projects in the world have already used it to accelerate their business or solve certain critical problems.

Here’s a few lessons that we’ve learned during the Sprint.

Customer journey matters

Early stages are the most important for a project, and typically that’s when people pay the least amount of attention to the entire workflow of their customer. In our case, we figured that due to specifics of our product, there are 4 types of customers:

  • clients who pay with cryptocurrency
  • merchants who accept cryptocurrency
  • Point of Sale software providers who connect previous two
  • cryptocurrency core teams/owners/founders

Evidently, each of them need individual approach so it took quite a lot of time to outline that step.

You can generate a lot more ideas that you think

Another interesting observation, is that the number of ideas that can be generated during such small period of time is extremely high. Each person has their own expertise, and during the years they’ve collected a nice set of best practices that were implemented and demonstrated during the Sprint.

In such way, we came up with features, as a blockchain based loyalty program, built-in merchant’s map, promotions and deals management, social media cryptocurrency payments via chatbots, etc.

In depth analysis of competitors is a must

During a product formation we’ve done a spectacular job on comparing existing similar solutions. As a result, we found that 95% of all ICO products don’t have a working product, some of them don’t have an MVP, most of them are already focused on predetermined countries.

A separate analysis was done on big whales (Bitpay, Coinbase, Bitgo). They’ve already established themselves and have millions/billions dollars of monthly revenue. It won’t be a simple task to compete with them but we’ve defined a few empty markets and opportunities that can be fulfilled in the cryptocurrency payment industry.

Prototypes can be different

Google Sprint is probably the best way to compress your time and create a real prototype of your product and get an immediate feedback that potentially can save thousands of hours of work.

Hopefully, we’ve had a working product for over 4 months so our job was to enhance it. However, an improved version required a complete redesign of several dashboard panels, customer’s accounts, wallet’s screenshots, etc. So that was quite a challenge for us.

In the beginning we thought that using a combination of bootstrap and html will be a good start, but then we realized it is a lot faster to make it Google Slides which is what we did. It was absolutely inconvenient but eventually we grasped that the aim of prototype is to test whether your potential product will work or not. That saved us a huge amount of time and we’re grateful for such an extreme, yet useful experience.

Summary

In any case, we highly recommend trying this approach for your company if you’ve encountered some uncertainties or obstacles during the development of your product.