Futures Platform is a web-based trend map that helps organizations form a holistic view of their future and make reasoned strategic choices in a changing world. Since partnering with Futures Platform as their outsourced product development team, we’ve helped successfully take the product and the company from start-up phase to scale-up phase.
The Futures Platform web application is a collaborative SaaS tool, a foresight radar that contains articles and videos of trends and future phenomena. The tool offers users a multitude of future insight curated by the foresight professionals at Futures Platform Oy. We’ve designed and built the web application, which we actively continue to develop and maintain.
Our work with the product began in 2011 when we created a prototype for our client, who at that point was Ubiverse Oy (AlternativeFutures). The prototype that we had built received such enthusiastic feedback from users that a new start-up company, Futures Platform Oy, was founded around it. After the founding of Futures Platform in 2016, we brought the MVP version of the Futures Platform web app to the market. The SaaS-tool was now ready to be commercialized.
Start-up phase and the MVP
For any tech start-up, in the early stages what matters is releasing an MVP, testing and iterating fast based on user feedback and releasing new versions to the market quickly. At the beginning of our partnership with Futures Platform, most of our work took part in the user interface. We developed the tool in a UI-driven way and brought new versions to the market as lightly as possible. We prioritized the features that would help our client sell the product – because those sales would help them land the next round of investment. Every functionality and feature arose from clear needs that we discovered from the user base together with our client’s Product Owner.
Over the years, we’ve gradually improved the product step by step. We’ve enriched the tool with features typical to SaaS services, such as permissions and group management, licensing/payment plans and user management for different user roles.
Now, after several successful rounds of funding, growth and landing substantial clients, the product has taken the company to a new exciting phase: the need to scale up both the product and the business.
Scaling up the product and business
The scale-up phase requires changes to the technical architecture to ensure scalability as new features are added. Originally the product was built on a monolith system architecture. A monolith system architecture is suitable when we need to quickly implement minimum requirements to test on the market fast – in other words, the MVP stage. However, a monolith system doesn’t scale well: as more features are added, eventually the product will slow down as all functionality is in one place. That’s why, in the scale-up phase we transferred the product from a monolith system to a microservice architecture. Read more about it in our blog.
Our team adapts to the project phase
Our project team has changed according to the needs of the project. Our job is to supplement the client’s own expertise when and where needed. In start-ups, it makes sense to have a small team with wide full-stack expertise. Scale-ups, however, need more specialized expertise. Our client hires part of this expertise in-house, and the composition of our team adapts accordingly. Our focus is now turned increasingly towards DevOps, as the next generation of the product turns our project into a data project.
Today, we’re more invested in the product than ever before – literally. We’ve invested in Futures Platform Oy and we now own part of the company. We look forward to being part of the growth of this successful product that we’ve created.
"Sangre's strong full-stack expertise has enabled us to efficiently develop the tool with one partner."
- Product Owner Mika Ilari Koskinen, Futures Platform