Duel: Product roadmap and MVP for a challenger social media app


LarQ.Social Limited


United States


6 months


October 2020

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Social media have changed the landscape of the internet. That’s a fact. However, the longer they are with us, the more aware we become of their influence on many different aspects of our lives. With this in mind, when the client approached us with the idea of creating a secure social network, we were all ears.

Questions we ask

Yet, we call ourselves Pragmatic Coders for a reason. The idea seemed interesting, so we wanted to learn more. We started asking questions that we know from our experience are very important. Unfortunately, there are still many founders who underestimate their importance or don’t ask them at all. We had the feeling that data privacy might not be the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) attractive enough to draw users. And there is no social network without users.

In search of answers

After those initial conversations, we agreed with the client to organize Product Discovery Workshops to research and develop their initial idea. We started by identifying the niche for the MVP. We needed to learn as much as possible about social media users. We were interested in the demography of the most active users and the ways they interact with those new media. It turned out that:

  • Generation Z is very much into social media
  • They have money, and they are likely to spend it on what they see on social media
  • Gen Z spends a lot of time online
  • They like video content.

Meet Anna – building a persona

This was the first important thing we discovered. This was also the first surprise. As the initial idea of the product targeted Generation Y. Our client needed to target Generation Z. Knowing that we’ve built our target persona. Meet Anna – a young single individual in pursuit of entertaining content. Now our client knew who they were building for. Yet, there was still the question of what to build. Social media is a broad term; it covers everything from Facebook to YouTube. This means we needed to know more.

Discovering the product idea

Our client insisted on pursuing the idea of privacy and targeted ads. However, it turned out that Generation Z has different concerns. And, since they appeared to be a much better audience, we had to consider their needs.

What does Generation Z expect from social media? They seek entertaining content. From the research on social media users, we could also learn that they prefer video content. At this point, we decided to take a look at the trends in social media.

Trends in social media

That’s why we dug deeper and identified important trends in social media:

  1. Ephemeral content will keep gaining popularity
  2. Niche social platforms will perform well
  3. Social commerce will expand
  4. Video content will dominate
  5. Influencer marketing will continue to soar
  6. More regulatory control and legal scrutiny
  7. Higher adoption of augmented reality
  8. Increase in the use of social media for customer service
  9. Personalization will be paramount; More advanced, dynamic, and direct social ads.

Duel – a video social network for Generation Z users

We combined those trends with insights about Gen Z social media users. The keywords that caught our attention were: video, ephemeral, user-generated, and entertainment as a primary need of our target customer. The discussion became heated. But then, from the client side came this idea – what about challenges? They are user-generated, entertaining, and certainly a video. This is how Duel was born. Here is Duel’s Product Vision Statement with the UVP in bold: Duel is a mobile social media app that lets users create and interact with challenges. Unlike other challenging applications, Duel gives users excellent ephemeral content dynamics and the most intuitive interface. 

Creating a Product Roadmap

At this moment, we discovered what our client wants to build and to who they want to sell their product. The vision of Duel became specific enough to start planning. First, we described the entire Duel business’s anticipated structure with the use of Lean Canvas. Then we tried to anticipate and capture the customer interactions with Duel via Customer Journey Mapping. Those two tools helped us identify key metrics to be monitored and measured after the launch. They also forced the client to think about marketing efforts and budget before they even approached building the MVP. This was especially important with Duel being a social media app. With this kind of product, building a large pool of users is critical for success. Finally, we’ve created a Product Roadmap. We worked with the MoSCoW method to identify features for the MVP. 

Minimum Viable Product

We agreed with the client that the MVP must have:

  • Challenges creation
  • Browsing & exploring
  • Interactions
  • Search
  • Profile & Content Management.

As the last step on this journey from a vague product idea to the firm product roadmap with KPIs in place and a solid idea, we prepared a visually stunning pitch deck. With all the information they discovered during our Product Discovery Workshops, armed with a beautiful pitch deck, the Duel founders engaged in the mission of looking for investors.

The 1st chapter of Duel’s story

And this is how we arrive at the happy ending. Duel app got the necessary funding, and we are finally able to move our work to the next stage. We are now in the process of creating an MVP.

Product and main features

  • Challenge creation mechanism: Issuing and accepting challenges as a core entertainment concept.
  • Earning yield mechanism: Users who opt-in to view ads will receive a share of the monthly ad revenue.

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You can also schedule an online meeting with Wojciech, our Senior Business Consultant.

wojciech knizewski portrait
Wojciech Kniżewski

Senior Business Consultant

8 out of 10

founders who contacted us wanted
to work with our team.

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