Expert Product Design: A Case Study with the CEOs of Canvas and Innovatemap

Posted October 3, 2017

Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

A company’s product is its lifeblood. It’s the one thing most responsible for a company’s success or failure, which is why smart product design is an absolute must for every business. And truly expert-level product design goes much deeper than nailing the visual aesthetic for your website.

I called in help from Aman Brar and Mike Reynolds, two respected Indianapolis-area CEOs, to unpack this very loaded and very important topic. Brar is the founder of Canvas, the first ever recruitment platform based on text messaging. Reynolds heads up Innovatemap, a product design agency that has helped more than 75 clients dream, design and scale digital products and services. The connection here is that Innovatemap worked closely with Canvas during its own product design phase, helping Brar and his team craft a stellar application and raise $1.7 million in early-stage seed funding.

The story behind how Canvas got its start is a great case study for every tech company that’s in the middle of product design or is preparing to tackle it in the future. In our conversation, Aman, Mike and I cover the journey from product ideation to launch, with a strong focus on the fundamental concepts of design. We also discuss why and how to conduct high-quality market research and the important ways that product interacts with brand and culture.

In this episode with Aman Brar and Mike Reynolds, you’ll learn:

  • The very first steps you should take when designing a product (9:05)
  • Three things you should keep in mind while planning your features (12:24)
  • How to get the most value out of conversations with potential customers (17:25)
  • Specific strategies for conducting user research and blind interviews (23:07)
  • How to create a cohesive brand that powers your product (30:58)
  • Why you need to distill your “big idea” into a narrower initial product (40:13)

Please enjoy this conversation with Aman Brar & Mike Reynolds!

 

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Aman Brar and Mike Reynolds Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Canvas

Innovatemap

Apparatus

Virtusa

ChaCha

Aprimo

Teradata

Edge Media Studios

Site Strategics

Ice Miller LLP

SpaceX

Airbnb

People:

Aman Brar (@amandbrar)

Mike Reynolds (@mreynz_mike)

Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

Jared Adams (LinkedIn)

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

Scott Day (@scottzen)

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Aman Brar and Mike Reynolds on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have few seconds to spare, let Aman & Mike know via Twitter by clicking on the links below:

Click here to say hi and thank Aman Brar on twitter!

Click here to say hi and thank Mike Reynolds on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Aman and Mike share in this podcast?

For me, it’s how to get the most value out of conversations with potential customers.

You? Leave a comment below.

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Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

Matt is the founder and CEO of Powderkeg, a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent. Powderkeg entrepreneurs have collectively raised more than $500 million in capital and are disrupting industries, creating wealth, and changing the world from areas beyond Silicon Valley. Hunckler has led successful teams with his own ventures, as well as Inc. 500 companies and venture-funded tech startups. He's been named an Under 30 CEO Entrepreneur to Watch and an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree for his entrepreneurial endeavors. @hunckler