PRODUCT INNOVATION / LEAN STARTUP / UX / BRANDING
Back in 2012 I saw a youtube video of a guy flying a home-made camera drone through a half demolished skysraper. He used video goggles and a live video feed to pilot the drone. As an aviation nut and game developer I was in.
Flying drones is always more fun with friends, but it's hard to find local hobbyists. So in 2016 we developed Drone Squad, a community app that connected local pilots for meetups and races. Our scrappy team prototyped features on weekdays and tested them at weekend events. Rapid iteration with customers allowed us to come out of beta with a laser focused product and grow to 30,000 hobbyists in 150 countries with no marketing budget.
Next we released the RaceTracker, a personal race timing system that allowed anyone to run a race at the fraction of the cost of the big events. Our pilot network loved it and we saw app engagement and retention triple.
In the end, Drone Racing was a victim of it's own success. Government regulation stalled growth. We proved that real-world gaming worked so we pivoted to a larger market: RC Cars. And that's where the story of xScape Games begins.