A few years back SceneIt’s founders decided to travel to New Zealand to visit locations from their favourite movie franchise, Lord of the Rings. Little did they know that this would prove trickier than getting the one ring into Mordor.
After hours of searching Google, browsing dozens of websites and emailing an endless number of people they managed to pull together a plan for their trip. Spreadsheets, Word docs and print outs gave them the itinerary for their once in a lifetime holiday. The trip was amazing, organising it was not.
There had to be a better way to do this.
The pair came up with a plan for a digital platform, taking all the great features from existing travel sites and adding an extra layer to help users build trips around their favourite TV and movie locations. The end goal was a system giving explorers a one-stop shop for travelling the world, scene by scene.
As with any startup, rather than leap straight in it was important to test the offering. An early prototype gave the founders the tool they needed to validate their assumptions. Only after this could we dive into the complex product build.
Our idea was ambitious, we wanted to build a fully featured end-to-end solution but getting there wasn’t possible straight away. Lighthouse showed us how we could phase our way to the full platform
Feedback was positive. While the market was niche, the fans were passionate and wanted a tool that made it easier to explore the fictional worlds that they love. They were excited about the offering and research showed that there was a steady revenue stream to be found for the business.
Time to start designing and building.
We’d already spent ages collating lots of information about who our audience would be: both from the people who’d buy using SceneIt but also those who we’d partner with. The prototype bridged the gap from our research to putting the platform together
An MVP with a restricted set of features was needed to provide a proof of concept ready to approach tour providers to get them on board. With content in place the marketing plan would kick in getting traffic in allowing people to discover the locations on the site and build up excitement around the platform.
Far from just a snazzy front end the site needed to have lots of thought put into its admin interface. The founders were unable to individually support people entering their content so a customised back end system was needed that was easy to use and let people get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Just because this was an Minimum Viable Product didn’t mean it could be rough round the edges. Our users are accustomed to slick, easy to use interfaces, to solve their problems we had to be polished.
Now in Beta release SceneIt are continuing to develop their product roadmap. Booking systems, online payments, fully-featured trip management systems are just the start. Eventually the aim is to create a new sector and serve it in the way Expedia and AirBnB have theirs.
Adopting a flexible agile approach to design and development we’re constantly assessing the user interaction with SceneIt to measure what’s happening and adapt based on our learning.
Getting to launch has been a more complex job than we had expected in all sorts of unpredictable ways. What we have now, though, is a flexible platform for us to build on and get the business going a full speed.
SceneIt are at the start of their journey. Now focus is on building out the platform, adding on features to meet user demand. Using goals-orientated development we’re helping the team work through the roadmap to make sure investment is made in the areas that will see a return sooner.
Onwards and upwards for this ambitious startup.
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