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Flybys to Discover

Ted Kriwiel

Illustration of lunar capsule orbiting the moon

Before astronauts from Apollo 11 landed on the moon, NASA completed thirty lunar missions. They sent flybys to circle the moon and collect data to inform a future lunar landing. Over the span of a decade, NASA sent dozens of missions towards the moon without trying to land on the moon. They had a clear scope for every mission and regardless of the outcome, they learned something. every. single. attempt. In 1969, Apollo 11 traveled safely to the moon due to previous missions that didn’t go to the moon. Those missions never intended to. Their purpose was to de-risk and demystify this new landscape.

Imaging scan of the surface of the moon

To help our clients build the best products possible, we start with a flyby – a mission to find answers to two critical questions: “Where are we going?” and “Why are we going there?” In a series of five meetings, we create diagrams and roadmaps to de-risk building software for everyone involved.

“Why are we going there?” is the most important question and always comes first. “Why?” drives the business conversation and helps inform the requirements.

  • Why do we need to automate this workflow?
  • How do we prioritize each feature we want?
  • How painful is the current process?
  • Conversely, what new opportunities will this solution create?

Nested in those “Why?” questions, is a business case for building the solution. Trips to the moon are risky, and the more cargo you carry, the riskier those missions become. Building beautiful products requires sharp attention to the value each feature creates and requires saying “no” to features that would be nice. By eliminating non-critical features at the beginning, we save our clients hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

“Where are we going?” drives the technical conversation to determine the requirements.

  • How many users do we expect?
  • How often will they interact with the data?
  • What features will be needed to solve the problem?
  • What devices will be used to access the software?

Historic photo of NASA ground control members celebrating mission success

At Moonbase Labs, iteration is king. We don’t attempt go-for-broke moonshots. We send orbits and flybys. We build prototypes that let user feedback dictate design. Eventually, we land partners on the moon, but never overnight. We think it’s important that our clients arrive safely, so we eliminate risks at every turn. We de-risk and demystify the process of creating a successful product, whether you’re building a SaaS platform or an internal tool. We help partners determine where they are going, the risks they’ll face, and the fastest way to get there.

Want to see the steps we take to answer these two important questions? Check out our flyby process.

Are you on a mission?
If so, we’d love to talk.

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