Bringing Digital Products from Ideas to Revenue


PMI (Project Management Institute) is the premier, global project management association with nearly 500,000 members, and, like many membership associations, they were struggling with how evolve so they could continue to add value to their members. 

PMI had identified 4 high-potential new products that had spent too much time in the design phase. With an important board meeting only 2 months away, they needed support moving from a glossy deck to a three-dimensional, market-validated, customer experience.


After the initial market testing and the board’s blessing, we built MVPS for two new offerings during a 3-month-sprint. This allowed us to answer their critical questions quickly and affordable before they invested in a commercial build.

PMI is now building these products internally and on-platform, ready to launch a commercial version of each in 2020.

The First Problem

PMI had 4 high-potential concepts from their previous design work, but they were stuck in PowerPoint decks and didn’t know how to make decisions about moving forward. They  wanted build their confidence by quickly seeing which of these concepts would get market traction.

The 6-Week Approach

We tested in-market customer traction through the following tests:

  • Social ads and email testing to test value proposition resonance
  • Landing page tests to test product interest and feature resonance
  • Live experience experimentation, where we pre-enrolled users at their global conference,  testing the concept value props and feature sets 
  • In-depth interviews where we gained greater clarity around the early adopter, use case, and MVP feature set
  • Product simulations, where we created clickable prototypes of the product to test feature resonance, clarify the MVP feature set, and understand willingness-to-pay
  • Thought experiments and desk research, where we clarified feasibility and viability considerations.

The Result

In just 8 weeks, PMI got the clarity they needed on what and how to move forward. They brought their plan to the board and confidently ask for resources for 2 high-potential MVPs, which allowed its members to build skills and navigate their career based on data-driven recomendations:

      • 2 high-potential concepts that gained market-traction and cleared PMI’s viability and feasibility thresholds 
      • Design requirements for those products
      • MVP feature set (and clear direction for the commercial feature set)
      • Early adopter characteristics
      • Pricing thresholds (willingness-to-pay)
      • Critical assumptions for follow-on testing
      • A roadmap for how to launch these products in-market by the end of the following quarter

The Second Problem

PMI had clarity on two viable MVPs and didn’t want to lose momentum. They partnered with us again to build, launch, and run this MVPs as quickly and affordably as possible.

The Approach

To accomplish this question, we:

  • Established success metrics
  • Developed product requirements
  • Assembled a list of technical partners and vetted them before selecting and contracting with one directly (protecting PMI from the effort and legal hurdles)
  • Managed the entire development process through a series of development sprints
  • Led customer acquisition through email, ads, and live events, refining and optimizing the strategy based on the data and feedback
  • Designed and conducted customer research to refine the customer acquisition strategy, product roadmap, and overall content strategy
  • Provided customer service during the MVP
  • Ran parallel tests to provide additional clarity on the future state of the product, including the business model and fulfillment partners
  • Provided coaching and transition support to PMI, which empowered them to take more ownership and transition operating functions to their business

The Result

In just 3 months, PMI had:

  • Two active products with customer traction
  • Product revenues
  • A small set of highly engaged users
  • Product insights, with clarity on how to evolve before their commercial launch  
  • Early adopter profiles to further refine the product design and customer acquisition strategy
  • Validated MVP feature set, requirements, as well as a commercial feature roadmap
  • Validated customer acquisition assets (emails, ads, etc.) and tactics
  • How-to guide for operationalization for the business that was now ready to absorb the effort)

As of fall 2019, PMI is now building these products internally and on-platform, ready to launch a commercial version of each in 2020.