Timeline // March 2013 – June 2015
Type // Startup project; software design and development by Jurema
Arco is the first mobile commerce platform to enable financial transactions through Instagram in Brazil. Founded in 2013, the startup has over 1.000 active vendors, 5.400 registered users and 7.000 listed products.
The idea was born from three entrepreneurs, Diana Assennato, Camilla Barella and Luciana Obniski (women in tech ♥ ). They approached Jurema, which in partnership, helped create, build and grow the service that would facilitate money transactions using Instagram. Nobody at the time had done anything similar, although Brazil already hosted one of the largest social network audiences in the world.
We developed a software that allowed us to post on behalf of users. MVP had to be simple so we could iterate fast. In summary, it was as simples as 1-2-3:
1. Sign-up with your Instagram + PayPal accounts
2. Post a product on Instagram using the hashtag #usearco
3. Followers just need to comment "buy"
Done: money transaction is executed and the seller gets the customer address to ship the product. :)
How could we post on behalf of users?
Basically, we got whitelisted on Instagram – that is a big deal since this authorization is really hard to get.
We believed in our idea, but we needed to iterate fast to learn from users' behaviour. Keeping this in mind helped us create not just a minimum viable product, but a minimum lovable product.
What I enjoyed most about this project is how lean and product-driven the team was. Basically we had one developer, one product manager and myself to define and build the beta version. Since we started off with Bootstrap, there was no real "need" for a designer to sketch a prototype. This picture illustrates pretty much how we kept the process as simple as possible.
Through the follow-up of metrics and KPIs we started iterating and continuously developing the product. Our latest release, Arco Stats, is a path driven to complement our main product, enabling users to schedule a post anytime, anywhere and follow up on interactions metrics. Our clients thriving means we thrive. :)
Recognition (or some of it)
+ Good deal of press mentions.
+ Diana Assennato (our CEO) got nominated #1 most innovative professional of 2014 at Proxxima's rank for creating Arco.
+ Winner 8 bits contest from INFO Magazine.
What I learned
I enjoyed the challenge of translating and distilling our goal into a simple product. I wrote user stories and mapped workflows. I applied agile: we used rapid prototyping and daily check-ins to focus on the goal and break work into manageable pieces. This process kept myself and the team flexible and allowed us to focus on the most important features.
Being digitally organized created cognitive space to be creative, attuned, and allowed us to see through complex situations. Using collaborative tools allowed us to move from email chains where information gets lost and kept the team relevant on immediate and long-term goals. To keep us organized I used 1) Trello, for keeping project components organized, 2) Slack, to reduce email and incentive communication 3) Google Drive, to keep product and planning documentations.