• Darren Cody

Marketplace Studio & GoalsX: Pre-Development of Its Marketplace




“The Marketplace Studio teams have given me the confidence, as CEO/founder/seed investor, to aggressively push forward with a real plan and precise vision” - Kevin McMullen, CEO GoalsX


Company Name: GoalsX

Domain: www.goalsx.com

Industry: A social marketplace for individuals to connect over a common passion to accomplish a goal.

Package-Type: Pre-Development Package

Package Details:

Marketplace Studio & GoalsX are partnered together to create the first-of-its-kind social marketplace that is only intended to allow its community to better themselves by working towards a common goal as a group.


GoalsX has hired Marketplace Studio for a Pre-Development Service that includes everything they will need to efficiently & effectively start development. The project spans a total of 3 months and covers everything a Founding Team should do before writing any code.


How to Build a Marketplace Services:


  1. Roadmap Planning For a Marketplace

  2. Product Discovery and Business Requirements For a Marketplace

  3. Competition and User Research Documents For a Marketplace

  4. Design Systems For a Marketplace

  5. Three Design Thinking Sprints on Three Separate Features For a Marketplace

  6. Three Polished Interactive Prototypes

  7. Integration and Partnership Proposals For a Marketplace

  8. Design Specification Documents

  9. Technical User Stories For a Marketplace


The Beginning of The GoalsX Marketplace


Leading up to the start date of the project, Marketplace Studio met with the founders of GoalsX on a weekly cadence to ensure we have a proper jumping-off point for when we can begin planning, researching, and designing the prototypes for GoalsX. Marketplace Studio is not giving explicit guidance on what to accomplish, instead, we are offering advice and small suggestions on what to have ready so that we do not skew the Founder’s initial idea of their marketplace concept. Marketplace Studio has real-world experience building custom marketplaces from it starting as a rough sketch on a bar napkin. Our goal is to help guide the new Founders through the conception, research, design, and development phases without learning the fundamental lessons the hard way. Thus ultimately saving money, but more importantly time.


Beginning with creating a proper Roadmap to schedule all of our combined efforts, Marketplace Studio & GoalsX were able to have a crystal clear picture of what the next 3 months will look like along with the potential of beginning development. From there, we broke down the business requirements heading into our first Design Thinking Sprint. This part was vital to the success of the project because we needed a direction or a path to follow while we entered the creative aspect of the project. Doing this allowed us to combine Pragmatic Product Lead Development with User-Focused Design to design 3 beautiful prototypes; Listing Process, Showcase (Listing Page), and the Member Dashboard.


Selecting these 3 features was not random. By designing the Listing Process first, we were able to identify the required data gathered by User inputs on the Listing Process which are directly related to the display elements on the Showcase. From this, we were able to draft a version of the database schema for the Listing Structure and therefore, setting us up for quicker development post completion of this phase of the project.


Next up was to determine who our ideal Users were which includes demographics, geographies, and adoption potential for the GoalsX Marketplace. In our Design Thinking Sprints, we started with the Empathy stage first, which allowed us to take a deeper look at our marketplace target market and evolve our original ideas.


By thoroughly following the Design Thinking Process, it allows the business to evolve and morph into something that may or may not be totally different from the initial idea based on actual User feedback. We focus on three Core Features or Core Workflows which can be anything from the Signup Process, to the Listing Process, or even simply the Home Page. Through the five-step process of Design Thinking; Empathy to Validation we are able to create 3D high-fidelity prototypes that Users can interact with to provide the most relevant feedback. This process, in turn, will make the development velocity much higher than alternative methods that may include writing code before the design is complete.


Once we have our prototype, we are able to flush it out even further by writing Technical User Stories along with Design Specifications which will instruct the developer similarly as a recipe instructs a chef on how to cook a meal. This allows for a smooth & quick development process by providing as much context and instructions as possible to the developer writing the code. Not to mention, it allows for us to pivot or make adjustments as needed easier and faster working on a design level than in the code.


Marketplace Studio's Partnership Video




Comments From The GoalsX CEO

Q: What do you think about the service(s) that Marketplace Studio has provided so far?

So far the services have been exactly what has been needed and hoped for. It’s important to us that any stakeholder in GoalsX understands the vision from both a business and a technology perspective, which I feel has happened and we are on the same page very early. I personally have been getting this support along with guidance on moving forward and prioritizing early-stage tasks for GoalsX. "


Q: What are your expectations for what we will be doing for the Pre-Development package (Design Thinking)?

"There are a few 😊
1. Continued business support
2. Complete design and mockup/prototype, enough to fully demo to early stakeholders, whether its GoalsX POD participants or investors, and execute contracts/partnerships with both investors and development team based on the outcomes of this engagement.
3. Business architecture “endorsed/vetted” by Marketplace Studios"

Q: Can one or both of you provide a quote/ testimonial for what we have done and plan to do?


“The Marketplace Studio teams have given me the confidence, as CEO/founder/seed investor, to aggressively push forward with a real plan and precise vision” - Kevin McMullen, CEO GoalsX