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Startups

Startups require a special, diverse set of skills to progress from idea to marketable business

Whether you are bootstraping or raising venture capital, building a startup is a challenge unlike other business types. At Spacetime, we've worked with a variety of startups and developed select service categories for startups that speak to the stage of your business and goal direction.

We see 4 primary types of startup needs:

  1. 1

    Concept Exploration ⇛

    You have a brand new idea or existing problem and need conceptual exploration and validation.

  2. 2

    Minimum Viable Product ⇛

    You are ready to build your startup and want to get to market quickly.

  3. 3

    Startup Resuscitation ⇛

    You've worked on a startup for months or years but have made little progress. It's a good idea, but needs a healthy shock to get going again.

  4. 4

    Choose Your Own Adventure ⇛

    You have a specific challenge in mind you need help with.

Whatever your need, we always treat your project like our own. We only succeed when you succeed.

Our specialized team will take you through our battle-hardened process. Provide strategy and insight into business building, customer acquisition, product development, pricing, and much more.

“Where there is no vision, there is no hope”

—George Washington Carver
1

Concept Exploration

Our concept exploration startup tier is perfect for exploring and validating ideas. We find clients typically need concept exploration for two types of challenges.

I.A Brand New Startup Idea

If you have a brand new startup idea but have not validated the idea or audience this could be what you need. We use a series of research, design, prototyping, and user testing to explore a concept with a goal in mind. Sometimes that goal is to create a visual concept, or build a prototype to test on potential customers, or even in preparation to raise venture capital.

Client Spotlight 🔦

We worked with DropIn to design a concept the team could use to seek venture capital. We created visual branding and app interface flows to demonstrate the user experience and value proposition. We also developed a live app scaffold reflecting our findings in the design. The app wasn't full functioning, but provided real data and an MVP experience.

II.A Big Problem Existing in Your Current Startup

If you have an existing startup but and want to explore a problem we can do that too. Maybe you want to explore a visual redesign of your app. Or, you need to explore why customers are dropping out of your eCommerce checkout cycle. Or, you want to pitch a skunk-works type idea to your internal leadership.

Best for ⭐️
  • Exploring a business problem
  • Raising venture capital
  • Validating a target market
  • Getting started without building an MVP
Not for 🚫
  • Accelerated growth
  • Calculatable ROI scenarios
  • Long-term engagements
2

Minimum Viable Product

The MVP is a common concept in the startup world. The term comes from Eric Reis' book The Lean Startup where Eric writes about his personal startup experience and subsequent consulting and advisory positions with startups.

Minimum

The smallest version of…

Viable

…something incredibly useful…

Product

…that a customer really wants

The purpose of an MVP is to take your concept or idea, whittle it down to the most essential and useful aspects, build it, and put it in front of customers as quickly as possible. So, to find our MVP we need to answer a few questions:

  1. What is the most important core concept of the product?
  2. Is there a prospective audience that wants your product? And will they pay for it?
  3. How can we test our product hypothesis on our audience as quickly and cheaply as possible?
Client Spotlight

We began work with Steadkey in January 2016. Steadkey's founder, Jerry Williams, had begun Steadkey several years earlier, based on his extensive experience in the mortgage industry, but had little success. He'd worked with 3 independent developers and 2 professional agencies, yet 4 years later still did not have the solution promissed. The first thing we did with Jerry in January 2016 was strip away all the cruft and excess features and ideas muddying up the success of Steadkey. Starting from scratch, we executed on the key value propositions customers sought. We rebuilt the application from nothing, and in less than 3 months launched the new and improved Steadkey app and gained immediate traction with new customers. Consider that for a moment, 3 months versus the previous 4 years… yeah, that's awesome.

Best for ⭐️
  • The idea and audience are already validated
  • Creating a product based on your own experience
  • Solving old problems in new ways
    • Like building software to replace spreadsheet tasks; or applying on-demand services with consumer needs
  • Tackling a problem within a budget
Not for 🚫
  • Projects that take longer than 3 months and millions of dollars
  • Businesses producing physical consumer goods (clothing, food products, etc)
  • Persnickety founders that are unwilling to compromise
3

Startup Resuscitation

Startup resuscitation refers to revitalizing products that have lingered for months or years without traction. Sometimes that's because the startup began as a founder's side project, or product-market fit was never acheived, or maybe the technology behind the product is inherintly broken.

Whatever the reason, if the concept is solid and an audience exists you can succeed.

At Spacetime, we seem to attract distressed startups suffering from years of neglect, poor implementation, or lamentable previous agencies. We are different than other agencies in that we do not want to drag out your project as long as possible and squeeze as much money from you as we can. In fact, we will probably try to convince you to reduce the full scope of your project if possible.

We will work with you to build a project plan and find traction:

  1. Determine the startups value proposition
  2. Determine the target audience
  3. What are low effort, big wins to focus on
  4. How can we gain initial traction
  5. What needs to happen to turn the startup into a sustainable, scaleable business traction

The purpose of an MVP is to take your concept or idea, whittle it down to the most essential and useful aspects, build it, and put it in front of customers as quickly as possible. So, to find our MVP we need to answer a few questions:

  1. What is the most important core concept of the product?
  2. Is there a prospective audience that wants your product? And will they pay for it?
  3. How can we test our product hypothesis on our audience as quickly and cheaply as possible?
Client Spotlight

StudioHop Fitness is one of our best examples of Startup Resuscitation. When we partnered with StudioHop in December 2015, the company was doing okay, but being crushed by previously poor vendor directions and a crumbling technology stack. At that time StudioHop had around 150 monthly customers generating $15k MRR. Sounds like good numbers, right? Sort of. The mild success StudioHop had acheived was also killing them. The business was operating at a loss, customers were leaving, and the web application barely functioned and required a lot of manual intervention. There was no way the business could grow or handle more customers even if they could attract new customers.

The first thing Spacetime did was replatform the StudioHop application from a previous vendors "proprietary" PHP framework to Ruby on Rails (Note: ask a lot of questions if an agency recommends using their own "propriety" anything; usually they are trying to lock you into only working with them). Ruby on Rails offers great features and abilities to get a product up and running fast, for less cost than other tech options, and in this case StudioHop would be able to easily find and hire developers or vendors that know and love Ruby on Rails.

Best for ⭐️
  • Startups with little traction
  • Startups with a single crushing weakness (like technology)
  • Startups going through a dramatic pivot
Not for 🚫
  • Startups in the Growth phase
  • Validating ideas
4

Choose Your Own Adventure

Maybe you have a startup that doesn't clearly fit into the categories above. That's okay, we can still help! You probably have a challenge to tackle or business aspect to take on. Let's chat and figure out how we can partner together!

Best for ⭐️
  • You have a specific problem to solve
  • Established startups
  • You don't know what to do next and need help
Not for 🚫
  • Brand new ideas

Let's Talk About Your Startup