Learn how to create products that people love

From idea to MVP in 30 minutes


Some context: As well as my main company Spook Studio, I’m also behind The Happy Startup School. We’re helping a new breed of entrepreneur to realise their dreams – those that put people first and place happiness before profits (huh?).

So I had this hypothesis having looked at stats of our posts: That an image with a slogan will generate more engagement on our Facebook page than written posts.

Experiment: Create a mock-up of a t-shirt to communicate a core message (inspired by the ZingZing page, cool new startup btw…).

Time taken: 10 minutes to design a fake t-shirt.

Result: 4 x the normal amount of views and activity.

We also tweeted it out:


But we started to get unintended responses:




And an email asking if we ship to Russia…

Next step: Set up a shop on Spreadshirt, a platform for selling customised merchandise.

Time taken: 20 minutes

Outcome: The Happy Startup School now has a shop. Go check it out »

Sales: None, yet as it’s just gone live, so I guess all of the above are vanity metrics… 🙂

Picture 1

But I’ll keep you posted! Or if you like our philosophy, go buy one » (there’s lots of colours!)


Our friends at Action for Happiness shared our original picture on their Twitter and Facebook pages. This got 22 retweets, 250+ shares and 500+ likes.

Picture 1

The comment below by De Maaike made be laugh…


Sales update:

We sold 30 t-shirts!

OK, so we’re hardly high flying retail entrepreneurs but this shows you that all it takes is an idea with a purpose, some action and a bit of legwork to make a sale.

Over to you…

If you need help turning your startup idea into a successful web product, visit www.spookstudio.com or contact me via Twitter @welovelean. I offer a free 20 minute sanity check for startup founders or budding entrepreneurs to share and discuss their ideas in confidence via Skype.


4 Responses to “From idea to MVP in 30 minutes”

  1. Apurva

    hey guys – LOVE this t-shirt. Love Happy startups! We’re an organic, fair trade t-shirt company in India – http://www.nonasties.in. We constantly follow your values and approach for happy startups.
    What if we made these tees for you and sold it on our site? We’re tapped into the social & enterprise space in India and have a global customer base too. We’ll take care of everything from sales to customer service to making awesome t-shirts on 100% organic, 100% fair trade cotton in our sustainable, transparent supply chain. (and of course give you credit and commissions for all sales).

    I’d love for us to work together – more for collaboration than profit making – what do you think?
    let me know.
    – apurva, founder, no nasties.


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