The mere mention of the word “insurance” drives worry lines on the foreheads of many people. “Boring”, “rip‑off”, “unnecessary”, and “not‑transparent” are only a few of the adjectives connected to insurance. At Creative Dock, we like exactly that: a challenging market that is lacking straightforward, value‑adding innovations that improve customers’ lives.
Meet Veronika Mahdalová and Ondřej Slačálek, project manager and product lead for a new insurance product to be launched within the next weeks.
Guys, tell us briefly what your product is about.
Veronika: It’s a brand‑new service, offering personal item insurance.
I’d say it’s a one‑of‑a-kind solution and a true disruption to existing services on the market. Our product – which we can’t fully disclose until the launch – separates itself from the competition: it’s the most flexible product with the biggest coverage, the easiest to set‑up in its category, transparent, easy to manage, and, above all, fun to handle.
Okay, let’s go behind the scenes and lift the curtain a bit. How long did it take you to build this?
Ondřej: From not having the slightest clue about the product until launching it took us 10 months all in all. We spent most time on MVP testing. Personally, I’m very proud of this, especially since we created something of real value in a tough market, starting with barely four people. Even today, our team is still growing. We hired more people as the complexity grew and built a lean, functioning team according to the current status of the project. Right now we’re looking for marketing, sales, and support professionals. Those are the skills we need for the launch.
What made the market so tough from your point of view?
Ondřej: First and foremost the heavy regulations. The insurance market is one of the most regulated markets with a few big players dominating the competitive landscape. Entering an environment like this with a new and innovative solution is prone to stir up challenges.
So how did you manage to mitigate Creative Dock’s agile and quick approach to the structures and corporate culture of the client?
Veronika: That, to be honest, was the toughest part of the project. And since we built the final product within our client's existing structures, it was even harder. But a straightforward, on‑going communication was the silver lining that kept the project together and moving forward at a pace everybody was comfortable with. The heavy regulations forced us to change our regular approach a couple of times and, at times, we were scared of compromising our approach too much. In the end, we found the right balance.
And what was your key takeaway from this project?
Ondřej: This project proved that we can work with our non‑traditional approach in stagnant and strict markets, if we manage to communicate in the best possible way. Also, we learned that even in traditional environments targeted by many innovators at once, there’s still always space for a new, exciting service; there’s always room to innovate and do something new that no one else has done before.
Last question for you. What are the next steps to make this a success?
Veronika: Well, there are so many pieces to this product, we consistently need to find ways to stay on top and not lose ourselves in small details. Even though we thrive to make the product itself as simple as possible, the process of stripping back unwanted features is a complex undertaking in itself. The key will be to cooperate with experts to not waste our time trying to solve complex tasks which other people can solve much better than us.
New tips for something new