IXM's founders had a concept they wanted to explore: an experiment in the tradition of a lean startup. Zurka implemented that vision in the form of a responsive website connected to the Facebook API. Google Analytics was used to track the use of the site. It was a quick and cost-effective way to gather data about a new idea.
Keeping It Lean
In the startup community there's been realization that a startup isn't a small version of a large company. As entrepreneur, author, VC and Stanford professor Steve Blank notes, "A startup is temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." While we're not a startup, the tools and approach as outlined in "Four Steps to the Epiphany" and "Lean Startup" resonate with us. These tools influence all of our work, and in some cases — such as the Who's Cool project — they are the underpinning of the effort.
The expectation was that Who's Cool would be used on mobile devices, but the real goal of the project was to access the market for the idea. Building an iPhone and an Android version of the concept would have taken time and money. Instead, we created a website that intelligently adapts to mobile devices, often referred to as responsive design. This gave users an experience that closely resembles a native application without the need for installation or approval by Apple. The goal was to test an idea as efficiently as possible, which is exactly what we did.
As IXM weighs the knowledge accumulated through Who's Cool, Zurka is here to support its next steps. The company may choose to iterate on the original concept testing ideas that sprung forth from the experiment. It may choose to bring it in house, drop it or grow it exponentially. Whatever that choice, Zurka is ready to support it and flexible enough to adapt to IXM's needs.