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Quicksand Product Management Services

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  • 1. Technology
    Feasibility
    Business
    Human Values
    Desirability
    Usability
    Viability
    Helping Build Great Web + Mobile Products
    Product Management Services For Startups
    Quicksand Design + Innovation
  • 2. size of network
    time
    critical
    mass
    ...leading to consolidation
    Network Economies...
    Great products can help startups achieve scale through
    Higher Customer Conversion (from awareness)
    Customer Loyalty (not leaving)
    Customer Contagion (telling your friends with/without incentives)
    Mobile & Web Startups need to scale quickly
  • 3. Great products need multi-disciplinary inputs
    Product Management
    Business
    Technology
    Design
    • A genuine need being addressed
    • 4. Viable business case
    • 5. Understanding of macro trends and industry
    • 6. Constant improvement through analytics etc.
    • 7. User empathy & deep insight
    • 8. Visual design
    • 9. Usability
    • 10. Appropriate architecture
    • 11. Bug free execution
    • 12. Satisfying performance benchmarks and expectations
    However, many startups lack this multi-disciplinary approach to products.
  • 13. The Genesis Of Startups
    • 2 engineers come together to start a startup. They have less than perfect understanding of customer research / analytics / usability.
    • 14. 2 IIM batchmates come together. Plan the venture by spreadsheet without a deep focus on actual customer activities or the importance of great design.
    A Lack Of Understanding
    • First time web / mobile entrepreneurs in India may not understand what product management is about or even the individual disciplines of user research / design / usability / elements of technology
    Flawed Beliefs + Misaligned Incentives
    • The ready, fire , aim philosophy
    • 15. Mistaking activity / business for effectiveness (very common startup syndrome)
    • 16. “Research is expensive”
    • 17. Iterative development means that you will ultimately figure the right product / market mix
    • 18. Hiring a product manager is not worth it pre positive cash flow
    • 19. Product management services are an expensive and unnecessary overhead
    • 20. External consulting firms that might be brought on time to time haven’t been part of VC funded startups, don’t understand the culture and have no stake in the long term success of the business
    Reasons for sub-optimal product management
    Cost Constraints At Startups
  • 21. Quicksand Product Management Services
  • 22. Quicksand Understands Startups + Entrepreneurship Really Well
    Between the Quicksand team, we’ve founded or been part of the founding teams at 6 ventures: VC funded + bootstrapped.
    We understand the constraintsthat startups work under and also the constant tinkering / experimentation and self belief that startups need to succeed.
    We feel passionately about new ideas and are launching our Product Management services to partner with high-potential startups in India and help them succeed.
  • 23. Product Management
    Product Roadmap definition
    Product Roadmap Ownership: Definition + ownership
    +
    +
    Design
    Technology
    Business
    Macro research +
    competition tracking
    Liaison with technology
    teams
    Visual Design
    Technology partner selection +management
    Usability + Interaction
    User research + insights
    Analytics implementation +
    ongoing management
    Quicksand Product Management Services
  • 24. Engagement Models: Tech-Heavy Startups
    Model 1
    We assume total ownership for the product wrt business + design aspects
    Model 3a
    We assume responsibility for the visual design + interface
    Model 3b
    We do fixed outcome consulting engagements on design and usability
    Model 2a
    We assume responsibility for the user insights, macro research & analytics
    Model 2b
    We do fixed outcome consulting engagements on this.
    Business
    Design
    Macro research +
    competition tracking
    Usability + Interaction
    Visual Design
    User research + insights
    Analytics implementation
    + ongoing management
  • 25. Engagement Models: Business Heavy Startups
    Model 1
    We assume total ownership of the product wrt technology + design aspects
    Model 3a
    We assume responsibility for the visual design + interface
    Model 3b
    We do fixed outcome consulting engagements on design and usability
    Model 2a
    We assume responsibility for managing the technology function including vendor selection and management
    Model 2b
    We do fixed outcome consulting engagements on this
    Technology
    Design
    Usability + Interaction
    Liaison with technology
    teams
    Visual Design
    Technology partner selection +management
  • 26. Equity
    Reduced Fee
    +
    Equity
    Service Fee
    Collaboration Modes
    For an appropriate equity stake, Quicksand reduces our service fees
    For startups with high potential, in areas that we are excited about, we take an equity-only remuneration.
    Quicksand engages as a consultant and charges a project based service fee or a retainer
  • 27. About Quicksand
  • 28. Business
    Design + Research
    Rajesh Dahiya: ~ 11 years experience in interaction, brand and graphics design. Graphic Design graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India and attended the masters program in human-computer interaction design at the Interaction Design Institute, Ivrea, Italy. Has worked extensively in areas of brand communication and human-technology interaction with Infosys and Human Factors International. Rajesh leads Brand Development and User Experience.
    Mohor Ray: ~ 5 years of experience in brand development , visual design and communication experiences in real and virtual spaces. Mohor leads brand communication projects. NID Ahmedabad: Graphic Design
    Avinash Kumar: ~ 10 years of experience in user research + product innovation. Leads Design Research at Quicksand. Deep experience in study users in urban / rural contexts. VJ with highly acclaimed electronic music band called B.L.O.
    Neha Singh: ~4 years of experience in design resarch + product innovation. . She has led user research projects with clients such as PATH (Gates Foundation), Cisco, Ideo etc.
    Rikta Krishnaswamy: Product Design graduate from the Symbiosis Institute Of Design, Pune. At Quicksand, Rikta has been a key design researcher on the Path, Safe Water project. She has also been part of conceptual design projects for organizations such as Nokia and Renault
    Nirat Bhatnagar: ~ 7 years of product management experience in VC funded startups, management consulting. Founder: Chahiye.info / Good Crowds . Founding employee: Isango. Online travel startup with USD 12 million in funding. Headed Marketing with SEM / Product Management / Analytics responsibility. IIM Bangalore. IIT Kharagpur.
    Ayush Chauhan: ~ 8 years exp in product and service innovation. Founder Quicksand Design. Deep experience in design research + design led innovation with clients such as Google, PATH (Gates Foundation), Cisco, Coca Cola. IIM Ahmedabad. IIT Delhi.
    Babitha George: ~ 8 yrs experience in innovation, creative arts, education. She has worked for PepsiCo, iDiscoveri, Nicholas Piramal and The AzimPremji Foundation before deciding to pursue her interests in the creative arts and design-led innovation at Quicksand. Managed design led innovation projects for clients such as International Youth Foundation (Quest Alliance), Cisco etc. IIM Ahmedabad.
    Team
  • 29. What Does This Mean ?
    We are able to bring a very eclectic, multi-disciplinary andcreative approach to problem solving, innovation & new product development.
  • 30. Our Existing Service Offerings
    Experience Blueprints
    Ethnographic Research
    Rich Media Documentation
    Synthesis leading to deep user insights
    Consumer
    Insights
    Product
    Innovation
    Brand
    Innovation
    User-centered product & service creation
    Product / service prototyping
    Co-creation workshops
    Brand Experience Architecture
    Visual Identity
    Packaging
    Spaces
  • 31. Select Work Within User Insights + Product Innovation + Usability
  • 32. Case Studies
  • 33. Product Management, Marketing + Analytics / Isango.com (Nirat has deep experience with Isango. This was not a Quicksand client)
    Isango.com is a leading online travel startup that aggregates and sells “travel experiences” across the world to a global audience. With around 3,500 products in over 70 countries, Isango is one of the largest sellers of such experiences globally.
    It has offices in UK & India and has raised ~ USD 12 million of VC money so far.
    Nirat was the founding employee at Isango and headed multiple responsibilities such as online marketing, product management & user insights (a combination of web analytics + customer research).
    Through such activities, the booking run rate increased to around 60 / day .
  • 34. New Product Development (AP, India) / Client: Safe Water Project, Path
    PATH is an international non-profit that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions enabling communities to break long standing cycles of poor health.
    As part of a global project on Safe Water, Quicksand was commissioned to:
    • Document and understand user experiences around household water treatment and storage (HWTS) products for low income consumer groups in India
    • 35. Recommend design interventions at a systems level that can mobilize uptake and sustained use of HWTS products and practices
    • 36. Leverage the study findings to develop a reference design in collaboration with engineering, technology and manufacturing teams spread over India, US and China
  • New Product Development (AP, India) / Client: Safe Water Project, Path
  • 37.
  • 38. Google’s product development efforts in India entailed a research study to document people’s information needs and identify viable new opportunities for the brand. A design research study* was conducted amongst users in the cities of Surat & Mumbai, who had unusual information needs. Research teams included designers, Google’s user experience group from Mountain View, California and their product R&D teams from Bangalore, India.
    {
    Screenshots from
    research films >
    * Project details with-held as falling under an NDA >
    Fuzzy Front End of Mobile Products /Client: Google, USA
  • 39. Design Research For Mobile Phones / Client: IDEO (US+UK)
    Design firm IDEO is one of world’s most respected design studios & ranked amongst the most innovative companies globally.
    Projects with IDEO * entail managing and facilitating design research for global mobile services brands in emerging markets such as India. Services rendered include:
    * research planning & design
    * ethnographic research
    * cultural guiding
    * rich media documentation
    * data synthesis
    Research formats range from shadowing sessions to fly-on-the-wall observations, contextual inquiries, group sessions and usually involve a combined design team of the two studios.
    * Project details with-held as falling under an NDA >
  • 40. User-Centered Mobile Interfaces / Client: Sony Ericsson
    Earlier limited to metropolitan and large cities, mobile telephony is rapidly becoming a part of rural India. The project was about using User Centered Design principles to make cell phone interactions for Hindi speaking rural India, a more comfortable, confident experience.
    The project ran over several phases, starting from design research to develop a holistic understanding of context and people. To then developing appropriate inferences that would guide the design of prototype solutions. Paper prototypes for these designs were created to test appropriate design elements. These prototypes and designs have since been incorporated in Sony Ericsson’s design strategy for India.
    Major outcomes and findings of the project have been in interaction constructs to support text entry in Devnagri, design of easier navigation experience, and identifying factors affecting cell phone experience for Rural Indians.
  • 41. Enabling Communities. Client: Quest Alliance
    The Videoshala project created by Drishti Media, Video Volunteers and Udaan with the support of the QUEST Alliance, has created four Education Community Video Units (ECVUs) in partnership with local NGOs in Gujarat. Locally trained producers from the community produce educational videos and screen them in schools. The videos address difficult spots in the curriculum, while stressing active learning and localised, relevant content. Videoshala is more than just an education technology project - it empowers local communities to actively participate in the education of their children.
    Quicksand was called in to document and identify what made this experiment unique. What is currently evolving is a comprehensive document that attempts to build an active narrative besides identifying future design interventions in the project.
  • 42. Service Design for Rural Education / Client: One World South Asia (1)
    One World South Asia is an international non-profit working towards democratizing technology. The Lifeline for Education program being managed by One World, intends to provide academic support to teachers in rural schools in India using accessible communication mediums like mobile phones.
    We were brought in as the design research & development team to evaluate the unique aspects of Indian education, including constraints on rural schools, teachers, children, parents and infrastructure.
  • 43. Service Design for Rural Education / Client: One World South Asia (2)
    The research in turn led to design recommendations on:
    • Collaboration platforms between various stakeholders
    • 44. Concepts for content delivery, interaction and system interfaces
    • 45. A future blueprint of the program
    • 46. Internal & external communication
    • 47. Develop & design a web-based interface for knowledge management
  • VeloWala.org / Biennale Internationale Design @ Saint-Etienne, France
    VeloWala.org (velo=cycle; wala=person) is an online rich media of bicycle-based commerce commerce in India.
    Created as an accompaniment to the ‘Sounds of Velocommerce’ installation at the Biennale, VeloWala.org is a virtual installation that pieces together the ecosystem of velocommerce in India.
    Velocommerce is special because it exists at the intersection of entrepreneurship, mobility, sustainability, cultures, local economies and decentralization.
  • 48. Service Concepts for Telecom Users / Independent Project
    As part of our ongoing efforts to document our context and publish independent studies, we did a quick two-day research in rural and semi-urban centers to peek into the lives of consumers and get comments from them on their service providers and the mobile devices they used.
    The experience was captured through film and photography, and the following images reveal some of the initial insights an approach like this can be used to glean. The survey is a visual snapshot of the diversity of telecom users in our cities, reinforcing the fact that the power of social media, particularly for the uninitiated consumer, is the most defining influence on the choices they make.
    The research intends to trigger a dialogue on service design & innovation and re-focus the efforts on the wellspring of a great brand & service – the consumer.
  • 49. Product Branding & Interaction Design / Client: Equals
    The brand development exercise for Equals operates on 2 parallel tracks— Brand Identity Program and Design in product/services development. Holistic systems-thinking allows for a focused exchange of learning and experience between the 2 tracks (product development and branding) and enables the building of a consistent brand experience.
    The Brand Identity Program for Equals is constantly evolving to express new ideas. Through its implementation, the brand becomes a virtual assistant for the user through varied touch-points, like web-based interfaces, mobile application, print advertisements, posters etc.
    Product development through creation of user interfaces contributes to the brand development. A positive and unique experience with the product translates into creating value and mindshare for the brand in the user’s mind.
  • 50. Equals is a new company developing communication technologies that provide users choice and control over their communications life. The Equals brand houses a group of constantly growing technology products and applications that work across communication channels for selected target audiences and their needs.
    Brand and interface development for Equals was centered around the core idea of humanizing technology and putting the user in focus as the controller of his/her communications universe.
    Product Branding + Interaction Design. Client: Equals
  • 51. Heritage is a key component of the Levi’s brand persona. To involve the user with the brand it was essential to engage him/her closely with the evolution of the brand over 16 decades of world history.

    Scope of work included in-store signage and product descriptors which were developed to establish the unique museum-like character of this heritage store
    Interactive Brand Narratives In Retail. Client: Levi’s
  • 52. Interactive Brand Narratives In Retail. Client: Levi’s
    A critical interactive component of the store was a history wall - a 34 ft long wall that narrates the story of the Levi’s brand through a graphic-rich archive of advertisements, catalogs, letters and milestone garments, running alongside concurrent world history.
    A seamless narrative was created that engages the user with the brand’s travelogue through time. A ‘smart’ touch-screen, combined with customized electronics, slides along the length of the history wall and detects the decades mapped on the wall to reveal detailed information for corresponding decade.
  • 53. River of Time | XylysStores / Client: Titan | Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai
    The River of Time is an innovative, interactive installation, designed and installed in select Xylys stores. In the spirit of the brand’s unconventional and innovative approach to design, it encourages in-store customer interaction with a hands-on exhibit, celebrating time.The installation consists of a virtual river flowing endlessly, as an apt metaphor of time. ‘Smart’ objects in the form of leaves and flowers float past in random order and on touch open to reveal 50 visually rich stories on numerous aspects of time. The stories were developed from researched historical, scientific and literary content on ‘time’. The narratives were designed to communicate complex notions through simple, engaging and graphic animated shorts.
  • 54. River of Time | Xylys Stores. Client: Titan | Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai