This Is For Real

Our work and approach have added so much value that it can be hard to believe. We get common questions about everything. So we have uncommon answers.

If you want us to take ownership of the project and deliverables, choose the Pro plan. If you’re confused, we can guide you! Just write to or book a 30min call with us and we’ll figure it out based on your project needs and velocity. We can arrive at, and adjust the best option, month on month, together. 

The minimum subscription commitment is just ONE month. Which means we must win your business every month! Note that as a new subscriber, you should expect it to take 3 months to fully onboard us to your vision, establish good processes and working relationships, and start to deliver on product and project requirements.

On a limited basis we offer quarterly to annual subscription commitments at lower prices. 

As of now, we do a manual onboarding process from our side. The manual process is necessary as we are unable to accept subscribers from industries we are not yet equipped to serve adequately.

Payments are to be made at the start of the calendar month for a month (or pro-rata for the first month, and during the month you resume). There is no credit period. A payment link will be provided on the last day of each month, for the subsequent month.

As part of the onboarding process, you will receive an invite to a Microsoft Teams Channel (or Google Workspace Team). All stakeholders will work in full transparency in this environment. At the start, we run a short workshop with you, where we get to know you, your brand, your product, and project ambitions deeply, to deliver world class work. 

The work is delivered by a Subscription Unit. A unit is not a single person. It is a cluster of people who complete successive tasks in their sphere of expertise as and when they come up. Often a designer, an engineer, and a senior member. Depending on the day’s task one of more members will assume temporary leadership of the unit, work on the task and communicate to all stakeholders. Resources move in and out of units based on momentary skill demand. 

The subscription unit is composed to eliminate administrative waste and keep your program’s cadence seamless and hassle-free. Full product development programs often require over 30+ discrete skills from start to finish. Those are available to you in a single subscription, without needing to hire or choose dedicated resources.

So, expect resources to step in and out of the shared workspace. All information is objectively captured in the shared workspace. Overlaps ensure a smooth handover from one task to the next. In the Pro plan you will have a weekly meeting with a shared program manager or team technical lead to take product decisions and prioritize tasks for the next week. 

Yes, of course. Your internal team will acquire a resource to help with important development tasks so they can be freed up to help with other product, project and growth activities. 

When we say unlimited, we truly mean it! With a subscription, you can request as many designs or engineering concepts as you’d like. You can also request for ANY kind of tasks, including information research, and product audits. We will work on the requests in your queue every business day.

On services: In subscriptions, we do not support Branding and Packaging, Infographics, Computer Aided Engineering Analysis, Consumer Testing, Consumer Workshops, or Design Thinking Workshops.

On work styles: If you need long hours of daily communication with large teams, or several hours of fundamental guidance of core business and design strategy, we can support this but do understand that it will eat into the subscription time. Our style is break activities to small tasks and execute them with autonomy. We escalate issues where clarifications are needed.

On work breakdown: The limitation is that we take on only two active tasks per subscription. A task typically takes between 2 hours and at most 2 days. The only other limitation is that quality work takes time to complete. 

Yes, you can use a single subscription to request work on any number of SKUs. They will be designed based on priority and in queue. 

Here are a few reasons:

  1. Planning a milestone is great when the milestone is visible. Statements of Work (SOWs) with nebulous milestones cast at the start, lead to debates and conflicts. Milestones themselves need to be recast or done away with often, requiring amendments in contracts. To add to this, there are multiple ways – that cannot be specified or quantified – to characterize ‘done’. We solve for the absence of milestones by focusing on the next important task, allowing for frequent pivots that projects inevitably demand.
  2. Multi-team convergence conflict overhead is unpredictable: Most projects have multiple players and stakeholders. The frequency and complexity of conflicts varies based on product complexity and merge frequency. We solve this by allowing projects to pause and resume at will, on the least count of a week.
  3. New Product Requirements are inherently “incomplete”. No document or tool can describe the outcome with perfect clarity, far less the path to get there. conflicting, outdated, or incorrect requirements can be hard to detect until the program gets to it. Linking project milestones to early product requirements leads to time lost in misunderstandings, scope negotiations, and clarifications, that is better used on the actual product development.
  4. Even after a product launch, we should expect to make incremental user, product, or production level improvements. 

Just write to or book a 30min call with us and we’ll figure it out based on your project needs and velocity. In the pro plan, after you start a subscription, a senior member will provide you a recommendation on how much time to provide for the program. 

Yes. However, we only offer customized milestone-based plans for large programs where the requirements and the path to achieve them, are both visible and agreed upon. 

You have access to all folders and files on the shared Teams channel so long as you have a subscription running. You can download anytime. 

Only bank wire transfer is supported. We used to, but currently do not, offer Credit Card Billing and ACH.

This depends on the type of product and request. To keep the pace consistent, every activity is broken down to tasks that take no more than two days (See ‘The basic task’ in Terms Of Service). A cluster of tasks is planned for no more than two weeks. The complexity of your request and/or the number of active requests currently in your queue will affect delivery times. 

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some Customers subscribe for 3 months and get everything they need. Others might need 8-12 months. Some subscribers have been with us for much longer. Our goal is to maximize our skills and output so that we can hone our practice and manage to serve many customers. We are as fast as can be. 

Speed does not mean moving quickly to meet a seemingly urgent date. Speed means wasting no time sitting on an idea. It means to conceptualize unambiguous measurable outcomes, think of best plan to get there, identify who or what we need for help, and then move. This is the foundation of the definition of the task.  

The subscription model is built for volume and scale. You are allowed to put in as many task requests as you want. We will add our own as well. There truly is no limit. However, we will take on only TWO tasks at a time, per subscription and will not proceed to additional tasks, until the active ones are put on hold, or completed.

If your current plans volume is too low, you can add one or more subscriptions to increase the size of your resource team. Scale up, Scale down on demand. We recommend starting with a single subscription and scale up to multiple subscriptions as the requirements become clearer.

You can invite as many members as you want to the Teams Channels for both communication and document management. 

It is up to you. Some subscribers do 15-20min sessions 3 days a week. Some customers prefer meeting just once a week. In which case we publish a short set of items to take a decision on. We recommend avoiding long meetings.  From time to time, when convenient, a resource will meet face to face.  

Co-location is great. Not common, but possible. While one or more resources can be sent to your location of choice, depending on your subscription, you may not have access to additional members who earlier contributed to your work. There will be a Per Diem cost depending on your location.  

In the Pro plan, we create simple project plans for you. In some mature industries, project outcomes are predictable. But Product Development outcomes are frequently unpredictable. If you want to hold the project plan sacrosanct and milestones to the date, then product development itself may not be appropriate for you. In the pro plan, we will maintain a weekly log of major decisions taken, and work done on a spreadsheet. We do NOT fill timesheets. 

We understand and appreciate the processes of planning, forecasting, and tracking real time status of projects. We’re actively looking to integrate project planning and management features within the tool or workspace. For now, members of our team participate in our subscribers’ Asana and Monday program management systems. We’re happy to move to the system that works best for the project.  

Unlikely. Resources are applied based on the type of task. You should expect some members to be common within a stage, but also for multiple people to come in and go seamlessly. At no point will there be a loss or need for duplication, of information. 

You can pause simply by requesting to do so, via Teams, Email, IM, to any resource working with you. Likewise, to resume. When you pause, the team will continue to work till the end of the calendar week. And when you resume, it will be from the next Monday. The minimum pause time is 3 weeks. Unused weeks of pause will be credited during the calendar month when you want to resume. 

“Resting is as important as working”

In a long enough subscription, you will get an average of 150h/subscription/month. It could be higher in some months, and lower in others.

We take a break 3 times a year, 1 week each, informed in advance, for rest and training. These are typically in April, October, and December. Including forced local holidays, you should expect about 20 weekdays in a year when no resource is available. 

You do! All our work is customized for you and your brand. You have 100% ownership of the files the moment we deliver them to you.  We use prior art i.e., design libraries and 10,000 3D CAD and UX features to speed up work. Those remain with us, but you carry the learnings with you. We send 3D CAD files in Native CREO, Fusion360 (Planned), OnShape (Planned) or STEP — whatever you prefer. 

The exception is for the Stake in Outcome model, where we continue to have ownership till the end of the license period.   

You can start by answering these questions for yourself: 

What is it? What problem are you solving?
Who will use it?
What do they use right now?
What is my vision for Version 1?
What is my goal for the first year of the business?
What should we not do (anti-goals)?
Have other businesses tried it and failed? why won’t you? 

Some other resources we recommend: 

Method-Kit’s start-up canvas https://methodkit.com/wp-content/uploads/files/MethodKitStartupCanvas.pdf 

Amazon 6+ pager detailed plan https://writingcooperative.com/the-anatomy-of-an-amazon-6-pager-fc79f31a41c9 

Michael Seibel’s 2018 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C27RVio2rOs  

If it is a physical product, feel free to leverage our ecosystem of manufacturers curated over the past 20 years. Our Sourcing Team can help you get started.   

In physical products, our designs have shipped 20Million times. Our Digital Interface Design is on 300,000 screens. After all the best possible practices have been followed, there will still be problems along the way – physical prototypes, part production, assembly efficiency, partner quality, technology limitations, for a few.

Rather than bicker over the numerous possible reasons, experienced product developers will set to solve the problems one step at a time, till stabilization in the real world.

For any reason, if any project relationship begins to feel toxic or strained, we will close the subscription and return and remaining balance. 

Native communication is in English. For geographies and customers who do not prefer native English, we recommend that you install a translator app or bot within Microsoft Teams or Slack, whichever you prefer 

Our customers are globally distributed. Our teams are mostly located across India, with headquarters and core functions in Bangalore. Our resources are increasingly spreading across the world but may not be in your local time zone. Requiring your Resource to work uncomfortable hours every day is a sure way to lose them to other projects.

The time zone gap is an advantage. Customers send requests in the evening and can see a well thought through response when they come back into the office the next morning. In many cases, your resource will handle planned and occasional odd-hour webcam meetings from home.

The following regions overlap during daylight savings time (DST) with working hours in India. You will almost certainly find a convenient time for an overlap. 

Time Zone NameUTC

Your2 hours corresponding to 

7.00 AM to 8.30 PM in India 

Hawaii Standard Time (HST)UTC – 103.30 PM to 5.00 AM
Alaska Daylight Time (AKDT)UTC – 84.30 PM to 6.00 AM
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)UTC – 76.30 PM to 8.00 AM
Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)UTC – 67.30 PM to 9.00 AM
Central Daylight Time (CDT)UTC – 58.30 PM to 10.00 AM
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)UTC – 49.30 PM to 11.00 AM
Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT)UTC – 310.30 PM to 12.00 AM
British Summer Time (BST)UTC + 12.30 AM to 4.00 PM
Central European Summer Time (CEST)UTC + 23.30 AM to 5.00 PM
Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)UTC + 34.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)UTC + 01.30 AM to 3.00 PM
Irish Standard Time (IST)UTC + 12.30 AM to 4.00 PM
Israel Standard Time (IST)UTC + 24.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Arabia Standard Time (AST)UTC + 39.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Moscow Standard Time (MSK)UTC + 34.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Turkey Time (TRT)UTC + 34.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Gulf Standard Time (GST)UTC + 45.30 AM to 7.00 PM
Iran Daylight Time (IRDT)UTC + 4.306.00 AM to 7.30 PM
Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)UTC + 89.30 AM to 10.00 PM
Australian Central Western Standard Time (ACWST)UTC + 8.4510.15 AM to 11.45 PM
Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT)UTC + 10.3012.00 PM to 1.30 AM
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)UTC + 1011.30 AM to 1.00 AM
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)UTC + 1011.30 AM to 1.00 AM
Lord Howe Daylight Time (LHDT)UTC + 1112.30 PM to 2.00 AM
New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT)UTC + 132.30 PM to 4.00 AM
Chatham Island Daylight Time (CHADT)UTC + 13.453.15 PM to 4.45 AM

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