A case study of SkillTrade

How to start a social network
on a Facebook wall

SkillTrade.org is a social network based around the idea of exchanging skills. It gives you tools to find the right person basing on your interests, lets you browse profiles in a Tinder-like way and gives you the option to chat with others in real time.

Problem

Maciek and Wojtek were interested in building a community of passionate people oriented at helping each other learn and develop new skills. They envisioned an alternative to traditional schools and courses and believed that people can share their knowledge directly between themselves while meeting new friends and having fun in the process. They decided to give a go and started with setting up Facebook fan pages that soon turned out to be extremely successful, gathering tens of thousands of fans quickly after the launch. Motivated by this early success, the founders decided to build a dedicated web platform to overcome Facebook’s limitations and take the project to the next level.

Solution

The project is a perfect example of a lean startup approach in practice. All we had at the beginning was a rough idea of what should be achieved. Although there was a successful user case that worked on Facebook and constituted the core of our MVP application, we still had to discover new ways of enriching user experience and adding value to the community through the bespoke functionality of a web platform. We have therefore started off with a planning sprint in order to:

Having completed the above steps, we created a project backlog and broke down all work into a series of sprints, each oriented at a separate epic of features and consisting of a full working process - wireframing, designing and developing:

Such agile approach helped us materialise Maciej and Wojtek’s vision and provided us with a framework for gaining feedback, insights and guidance needed for further development and decision making. We’ve finished the project by completing a fine-tuned MVP application that helped the Skilltrade team secure seed funding and, as a consequence, start building their in-house team.

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