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How JetStyle Builds Products for Microsoft, eBay and more: Q/A with CEO Alexey Kulakov

How JetStyle Builds Products for Microsoft, eBay and more: Q/A with CEO Alexey Kulakov

Bethenny Carl
Website Planet interviewed Alexey Kulakov, CEO & Co-founder at JetStyle, a full scale production studio with over 400 projects in their portfolio, 10+ awards, and a clientele that includes Philips, eBay, Huawei, Microsoft and more.

We looked at how their product development approach cut costs and improves scalability for dozens of projects in various fields, from sustainable development and design to VR production.

What problems are you solving with your products and services?

Depending on a type of a business, our clients aim to scale, gain profit and grow the number of clients. The core feature of the product development approach is that it is focused on setting up a continuous flow that ensures all these goals are met.

Our projects show that the product development approach is perfect for companies that create digital products, because digital products change customers’ behavior gradually and consistently. Everyone wins here because this change is always related to getting some value:

Customers interact with your product > the product impacts their lives in a positive way > they notice the change and keep using it > your business grows

Before we implemented that approach in our production flow, we stuck to the project-based approach. Now we believe it’s detrimental to our clients’ success. We view a project as a series of actions aimed at changing something, e.g. a business. When you see the changes, your project is done.

That is the core difference between the project-based and product-based approach:

The product-based approach is focused on maintaining continuous change, because when a product evolves, it brings more profit. That’s how our clients reach their scaling goals.

What’s more – the product development process is more transparent in terms of payment. We work on a retainer fee basis; it means that the client and our team agree that one sprint costs a predetermined sum of money. Our team consists of a fixed number of specialists. When a sprint is over, the client pays the money. We build the full roadmap at the very beginning; it helps to coordinate the development process.

Another pain point that our clients have shared with us is that even when they lack development expertise, they still are reluctant to outsource it. Here we believe in the power of collaboration. Our clients have their vision of the product, and we provide our tech expertise.

Which types of companies benefit the most from your services?

We work with startups that are looking for investment opportunities. Product development approach is perfect when you need to show a functional MVP. We’ve learned to do this in a short time; quite often, even 2 development sprints (4 weeks) is enough to have something to show your investors.

Artyom Sinyavsky, CEO & founder of Bizar, a marketplace for contemporary art and design said:

“The development process started in January 2021; by the end of February we started adding sellers onto the platform, and in June 2021 a commercial MVP was released. It took only four months for us to start having first real sales and clients’ feedback. This speed of work is critically important for the industry’s first ever art marketplace.”

This approach can be also beneficial for growing companies and enterprises that lack their own development resources. Usually, we come forward with an experiment and say that they will see tangible value after 2 sprints of collaboration with us. This approach lowers potential risks for the client.

What makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?

Here are a couple of case studies from our product development portfolio that demonstrate the advantages of this approach.

IQ007 is an international network of schools of speed reading and intellectual development, and one of JetStyle’s long term partners. Before Covid-19 quarantine, the business had been conducted offline. The lockdown changed it all, so IQ007 has to switch online and do it within a short deadline. There are many online platforms to embark on, however none of them would preserve all the features of the IQ007’s unique teaching methodology.

So together with IQ007’s team, we started developing a platform to fit the tech requirements of the methodology and ensure children’s education remains as effective as in the offline mode. The work was done in two-week sprints; with new functions added at the end of each. The initial product was launched after 2.5 sprints from the start of the process, in May 2020.

Another project that proves the point is our campaign with Bizar, a marketplace of contemporary art and design for painters, sculptors and photographers to exhibit their works and find buyers.

In just 4 months, in close cooperation with the client, we developed the product from scratch and successfully launched the marketplace. As we have had a well functioning MVP of the platform we collected live feedback from first users and created a backlog of relevant improvements. As a result, Bizar launched as a fully functioning marketplace and has been updated to keep in touch with users’ needs.

The service’s CEO comments on the process:

“Our work with JetStyle was conducted in two-week sprints and an agile approach to backlog processing. The team was amazing in balancing between the development process, users’ feedback and business priorities. By the end of 2021, we released all core features of the customer experience. It allowed us to double the marketplace conversion rate.”

How do you handle customer care and tech support?

Thoughtful and effective communication is one of the core values of our product development approach. When we work on the projects, we set up a backlog system that contains detailed information about all tasks, their development process and testing. This is convenient for both the developers and managers from the client side. The development process carries on in a non-synchronous and autonomous manner.

Another feature of collaboration in the product development approach is its close ties with the customer’s experience. If we get customer feedback that requires steering away from our initial concept, we simply correct our hypothesis and test it again.

When you reach a high level of understanding with your client’s team, you simply stop wasting time on irrelevant work, and just focus on creating awesome customer experiences together.

How are you doing today and what’s in the roadmap for the future?

We want to show that the product development approach applies to any development process, even outside of the IT industry. For instance, JetXR, our VR development department, has used it to test interactive elements in VR. The product development approach makes VR production more cost-effective: if you start experimenting with your product at the earlier development stages, there’s more chance you release a product that truly resonates with your audience.

At the moment, we’re willing to set up experiments with companies from various industries. We say that with the product development approach it’s possible to get tangible results even after 2 development sprints (4 weeks).

Are you offering any partnership opportunities at the moment?

Expert interviews are our favorite! At JetStyle we have professionals in the area of product & agile development, UX/UI design, design for sustainability, VR/AR/MR development. Our expertise is supported by international awards, and successful case studies with positive feedback from our clients & their audiences.

Get in touch about interview opportunities via [email protected]

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