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Startup noun \ˈstärt-ˌəp\ — human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

Eric Ries, The Lean Startup
About

Cooleaf in collaboration
with Monterail

While Cooleaf had been our client since 2011, it was in 2013 that we sat down together in order to rethink the fundamentals of Cooleaf as a startup business.

It's not easy to scrap what you've been building for the past two years - but sometimes that's necessary if you want to step up your game and enter a brave new world. We knew we had to switch from thinking about UI only to thinking about the entire product if we were to apply someone who's trusted us with defining a completely novel experience.

Even though it wasn't easy, we pulled it off. And we can do it again.

Cooleaf on a laptop
The Challenge

What Monterail does for startups like Cooleaf

We develop your existing web application

Using Ruby on Rails and AngularJS.

We analyze your business

By understanding your needs, we are able to build outstanding value applications that fit.

We design beautiful, innovative new user interface systems

With excellent results for your business.


In the words of Cooleaf founders,
Prem Bhatia and John Duisberg
John Duisberg, Cooleaf’s co-founder

The default state of a startup is failure, and each startup is furiously working to avoid that state, until it finds product-market-fit.

The process

Designing the MVP

To design the new product, we had design workshops with Cooleaf every day. For half a year. Remotely. (Cooleaf is based in Atlanta, and we're from Wrocław, Poland.) For those of you who's thought of designing is impossible without

being in the same place at the same time, we guarantee it is possible. And results are just as creative. In a truly lean fashion, we've agreed that the MVP would be a set of interactive prototypes with fully polished design

but no real functionality implemented. This gave Cooleaf a competetive advantage: they were able to look for a market fit much sooner, even before we've written the first line of code.

Cooleaf MVP interface

Cooleaf
2014 - now

A workplace community that comes together around activities that people love. Whether it's an employee-led running club or an employer-organized educational event, Cooleaf provides a platform for your team to find activities they love to empower shared interests and passions.

6hours time difference between us
120hours spent on Skype workshops
7,847km from Atlanta to Wrocław
Cooleaf interface on an iPad
The result

Aggressive deadline

The MVP was set up in a truly lean fashion. From the very beginning of our Skype-call design planning sessions, we knew we had two options. Either we could take our time and first develop all the features we had planned for the application before releasing the product for testing, or we could push for a much earlier release date and use a minimal MVP to test the market. The fact that startups do not have the luxury of being able to stay idle for a long time made the choice obvious for Cooleaf.

We soon agreed that our starting point would be a minimal MVP with a fully polished design, but consisting of only a set of interactive prototypes. Willing to take some risk, we decided that our MVP would include very little in the way of the actual functionality we had planned. This step soon began to pay off as we found that the main positive spin-off of this approach was it gave Cooleaf a competitive advantage. As a result, the Cooleaf sales team could immediately begin looking for a market fit.

At this point, our project was on the brink of taking off. Within just two months, we had built not only the MVP, but also a Minimum Buyable Product. In addition, the Cooleaf team in Atlanta was working relentlessly on sales, having signed the first customer using the prototypes and quality design we had prepared for them.

Once we had our first buyer, we knew that our final product delivery deadline would be on January 15th, the day the first Cooleaf buyer had contracted to begin using our product. In addition, after the first buyer signed up, a frenzy of commits followed. All of this crucial activity happened before the final product was even half-finished.

63days of development
1,049commits on GitHub
5people contributing to the repo
3,525commits since January 15, 2014. And counting.
Try new things

Meet the team

Radek Markiewicz

Radek Markiewicz


Ruby on Rails & Javascript developer

Krystian Polański

Krystian Polański


User Interface & User Experience designer

Marcin Janas

Marcin Janas


User Interface & User Experience designer

Hubert Białęcki

Hubert Białęcki


Front-end developer

Gilbert Komin

Gilbert Komin


Ruby on Rails & Javascript developer

Tobiasz Waszak

Tobiasz Waszak


Ruby on Rails & Javascript developer

Marcin Wernecki

Marcin Wernecki


Quality Assurance

Katarzyna Tatomir

Katarzyna Tatomir


Project Manager

They also took part in Cooleaf project:

  • Błażej Chwoła
  • Bartek Erbert
  • Dariusz Gertych
  • Paweł Hawrylak
  • Marzena Kawa
  • Kamil Nicieja
  • Kamila Straus
  • Damian Trojnar
  • Dominik Porada
  • Łukasz Potępa
  • Michał Simka
  • Katarzyna Tatomir
  • Krzysztof Jung
  • Krzysztof Trzewiczek
  • Darya Stepanyan
  • Mateusz Karbowiak
  • Krystian Kiełczewski
  • Patrycja Margasińska
  • Tanya Dmytrenko
The Future

Are you a startup like Cooleaf?

Your idea should not wait
— let’s set everything in motion.