Software Companies Launching Hardware: Interview with 2018 Venmo Debit Card Team

1. What was the hardest part of developing a physical product?
Understanding how much time it would wake to manufacture the card.  In software, we were used to a different pace and smaller teams.  With a physical product, we had multiple partners involved that all had different lead times.

2. Looking back, what would you do differently with your development and why?
After getting user feedback from our beta card, we realized we could have done more design research upfront with the physical card. This would have saved us on development time.

3. Did you change your user research from a physical product?
Yes, we tested the physical card separately than the software, but realized our biggest insights about the physical card came from our UX design.  We did this by displaying the different card colors and design for feedback.

4. Did anything surprise you during the physical card development?
We had no idea how many material options are available as far as design, colors and capabilities.  The sky was the limit.  We also had to deal with new steps like physical life testing (how long will the card last?)  or shipping pricing (we never had to worry about this with software).

 5.  What advice would you give other software companies launching hardware?
With expert partners, we were able to rely on their physical product development knowledge.  During the process, we loved learning new techniques, and understood having these experts were key to saving us time during development.

Bridget McMullan