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whitesmith.co

Creating TickTap in 6 weeks

João Marques

Hello! We are Teresa Salazar and João Marques and together we are one of the teams of the first Product Cycle here at Whitesmith, mentioned on August Monthly Gathering blog post.

Apart from being the team with fewer elements, our product had also other particularity: it didn't solve any problem at all (which was one of the main points of Product Cycle framework). In fact, it was a mobile game!

The idea

Let's start with the very beginning.
The idea of making a rhythm game based on song beats came from Teresa and quickly I (João) became interested in it. It should be quite simple to develop and have a good potential to become something catchy and fun to play.

We had the idea but we need to find people to validate it. So, in less than two weeks we created a web based MVP with a subscription form and shared with the world on Subreddits and Slack Communities.
We had a nice amount of traction with 600 page views from 42 countries and 35 subscriptions on the following week of the MVP launch. We also had some valuable feedback about what we should change or implement on mobile app itself. At this point, we really knew that were people interested in our idea and we should develop it.

TickTap MVP
TickTap MVP

The monetization issue

Besides all the fun and cool factor of our idea, we needed to think of a way to make some profit with it. We thought about some possibilities and we decided to follow a model already used in some mobile games:

  • free version with ads between a few number of plays (we know, nobody like ads, but they wouldn't be in an abusive quantity);
  • premium version: without ads and a few more songs to play.

The songs itself were another topic to think about, after all, we just couldn't pick copyrighted songs and try to make money with them. Our solution for this problem was using only copyright free songs.

The development

We decided to develop the app in React Native, a framework that some people here have already started using for a while, like one of our mobile developers Rui Magalhães, but for both of us, it was totally new. While Teresa invested a whole week learning the basics of React Native, in that time I refined the app identity and UX/UI design created for the MVP. With all this, 3 of the 6 product cycle weeks had already passed, but we were fully prepared to start the development and so it happened.

Logo and app icon color variations
Logo and app icon color variations

The majority of the hard work fell naturally to Teresa since she was working full-time on this project on her summer internship while I only could dedicate one day per week on it. Unfortunately, this fact leads us to the end of the Product Cycle with a almost finished app and the team of two being reduced to one with the ending of Teresa's internship.

App screens: Main menu, Play Mode and Result
App screens: Main menu, Play Mode and Result

The (close) future

As you can notice, TickTap wasn't launched at the end of Product Cycle. It's not that our plan for the 6 weeks was poor, but we underestimated the fact that we were a team of two people, one of which with partial time to work on the project.

This doesn't mean that all has gone wrong and that we gave up on all the work we had. We still pretend to launch TickTap on App Store and Google Play very soon, after some polishing and bug fixing. Stay tuned!


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João Marques
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