Meetsy — Case Study: Connecting random people for lunch in big corporate offices
Startup Weekend Project Case Study
In September, I decided to attend Startup Weekend in Olomouc to get some new experiences. I worked on an idea with an app for connecting random people for lunch in big corporate offices.
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which people have to pitch an idea for a startup, form team, validate the idea, build an MVP and pitch it to judges/investors.
First, we wanted to connect random people based on similar interests around the whole world for lunches. Something close to Tinder, but faster and with the goal to have lunch, not find love. We found out that it would be difficult to build such a strong customer base, but we still wanted to stay with our main idea, that was connecting people for lunches, so we started thinking about different customer segments and if we can fit there our idea. We started focusing on large companies (b2b market).
Lack of mutual contacts in large companies, which leads to poor corporate culture and inefficiency of work.
We have come up with a few hypotheses, that we wanted to validate in research. The main one was that people don’t like going to lunch alone.
We needed to validate if the problem really exists and if we can fit in there our idea of the solution.
- People don’t like going to lunch alone.
- Meeting new colleagues can help new employees to start in a new company.
- Good relationships help greater satisfaction at work.
- Better contacts in a company help higher effectivity and communication of work.
- Companies are going to pay for our product.
We have validated all hypotheses using market and quantitative user research. And a combination of qualitative research and market research helped us with defining features of our product and fitting them to our user needs.
For validating, we have conducted user interviews and created google forms. All hypotheses except the last one, which we didn’t have to time to verify were right. Market research helped us with validating if there is a potential customer base and what values there are giving to users with features of their products to inspire us a little bit and to be better than them.
The MVP was based on the main feature of the concept, and that was searching for random people from the same company, who are at the same time also looking for someone for lunch.
The main goal of the MVP was validating the primary function of the product to know if we are going the right way.
Feature plans for the future, based on user research
- Meeting history list
- Free lunches for active users
- Sales for lunches
- Achievements for active users
All these features we were planning to implement to help the growth of the product user base and higher motivation to use it.
User Value Proposition
The value proposition of our users (employees) was based on never going on lunch alone again, greater satisfaction at work and easier start in a new job.
- Never going on lunch alone again
- More comfortable to start in a new company
- Building new relationships in current companies
- Greater satisfaction at work
- Higher chance of meeting someone from higher positions (higher chance of getting promoted)
Customer Value Proposition
The longterm outcome of our product is bigger revenues for our clients, which is caused by better communication and efficiency of company employees.
- Save time and money for HR employees
- Better communication and efficiency of company employees
- Broader employees knowledge of other departments
- Greater satisfaction of employees
- Communication between leaders and employees
- Bigger revenues for our clients
After 54 hours of hard work, we have pitched our idea to judges and luckily won the Startup Weekend.
Four hours before the deadline we had two different solutions, and we still didn’t know which one we are going to work on, here in this case study, you see just the final one. I don’t know how we have won, and honestly, it doesn’t really matter. I am grateful for this fantastic experience. Thanks to my team, mentors and organisers for it.
At the start of the Startup Weekend, we have built a good, diverse team of 5 people. We had expertise in every aspect of product development.
- Product Designer/Researcher (me)
- UI Designer (David Stančík)
- Project Manager (Jan Dittrich)
- iOS Developer (Lucie Sanetrníková)
- Sales Manager (Martin Mellichar)
Keeping user needs still in mind of the team and leading the process of market and user research.
I worked on the product strategy, led the process of market and user research, created a UX flow of the product and created a structure of the final pitch presentation (based on judges criteria). But I would say my main job when working on this project was keeping user needs still in mind of the team because I sometimes felt my team is going away from it.
What I would change if I would have more time or was doing it for a second time
The lack of customer research and confusing work caused by the lousy splitting of the work in a team were the main problems when working on this project.
- We haven’t conducted much customer research, so the needs of our customers (big companies) were based just on assumptions, which is not good and definitely would need some more time spending on it.
- Working on this project was confusing because, in the beginning, we didn’t determine the right way, how we are going to approach the project and didn’t split the work in a team correctly. So next time, I would try to focus on it a bit.
In 54 hours you can do so many things, it just needs 100% focus, hard work, staying calm and thinking about all possible solutions by listening to all members.
- Even if you have just a few hours left, you shouldn’t panic, stay calm, and you can still do a good job.
- I would never say that in 54 hours you can do that many things, it just needs 100% focus and hard work. So next time, when I will have only a few days left on a project, I will remember this Startup Weekend and how much I can do within just a few days.
- Sometimes we had disagreements in our team. But it is essential to stay calm, listen to all members, think about all possible solutions to a particular problem and do a tradeoff or agree on one solution. All members need to be satisfied and understand why we have chosen a certain way without that the project will not work.