Why do I actually build mikrodefio ? The story of the first iteration

Do you remember mikrodef.io? I’ve launched the site in April and then quickly left it go back to sleep. Mostly because it did not get the expected traction. That happens when you have a product which no one needs or wants (and you do not promote it enough).

But why did I actually start this project?

  • I wanted to build a product which improves lives of individuals
  • I wanted to have a laboratory to test new techniques
  • And I wanted do more creative work – I was a CreativeDay project remember

A lifestyle app

The goal of mikrodefio is to push people out of their comfort zone. Motivate them to try new things which could improve their health or social life. And in the end, to help them live a better life. This is quite bold goal, but shouldn’t it be like this?

Testing new techniques

The second purpose of mikrodefio is for me to test a lot of different techniques. It is kind of guinea pig. I can test Lean Startup Principles, the Business Canvas and maybe new CSS and JavaScript techniques.

The initial idea was to display a small challenge every single day. And hope, people would do it and come back for more.

first-wireframes
The initial mockup

How did it start?

During two creative days I worked on it and launched a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The Version 1.0 went live on April 16th. But I had no clear vision, just a vague idea of a product. I had drawn a first mockup and quickly coded it. But not much happened, Why?

  • The product did not fill any need yet (!).
  • Not enough communication. No partners, no media coverage, nothing. Just a post on my blog.

So the website died. You would not expect anything different right? But I had successfully done the first step of the Lean Startup Methodology (Build). I had built and launched a product. Yay! A veeeery simple one, barely viable, but I could start gather user feedbacks.

Then I had to work on closing the first cycle (Measure & Learn).

Before measuring I did draw a first Business Model Canvas (BMC). To describe the initial idea of the project. I kind of already knew how it should work. But the BMC helped to clarify the customer segment and how the product could be profitable in the future.

Business Model Canvas – Mirkodefio-v1

Measuring the results

There was not a lot of data to measure. But,

  • The number of visitors was super low…
  • The time spent on the site was super low => Most people would see the post on Facebook, but clicking through to the website would not give you any more information. So why click?
  • The site was lacking any social aspect. No community, no interaction possible. Not very attractive for the users.
  • Since it was quite some work for me to produce a daily drawing and challenge. I did give up after a while.

After conducting a couple of interviews and working on a new version. The cycle is about to start again. This time with Metrics defined, a BMC and some improvements based on users feedbacks. It will for sure not be the last one. But it is already better.

End of iteration #1

The new version of mikrodefio will be launched on Monday September 14th. If you want to be the first informed, make sure to subscribe here.

Thanks for reading.

Yann Graf

I am an experienced Digital Strategy Consultant based in Switzerland. After over seven year respectfully crafting and improving the digital presence of Terre des hommes, Nautilus and G-Star Raw, I am now a freelancer. Please have a look at my Portfolio