Tribal Habits

Cogent Team:
Design, Development, Product Management

Project Timeframe:
8 Months (part-time)

About Tribal Habits

Tribal Habits is a knowledge exchange platform for professional services firms. It allows them to capture expertise, skills and knowledge within their organisation and rapidly share it with their staff, clients and prospects.

The Challenge

Before launching Tribal Habits, its founder David had an existing training and consulting business for 10 years. During that time, he observed that there was often existing expertise within an organisation that was unique to that business. This meant it had been contextualised, proven and tested, but simply hadn’t been captured or made accessible to the rest of the organisation.

It seemed a waste that the only way to capture and share that knowledge was passive videos, PDFs or some PowerPoint slides. David knew there had to be a better, faster and simpler way.

“My first goal was just to figure out if it was actually possible to create something people wanted to use. The secondary goal was then to turn it into a business model that could grow into a profitable business.”

David King
Founder, Tribal Habits


Cogent first spent a week with David to understand the business model, key differentiators, goals and success measures. Before working with Cogent, David had done some proof of concept work himself, and together we created user personas and a journey map for the proposed product.

David’s based in Brisbane, so worked from the Cogent office two days a fortnight during development, and attended standups daily via Skype. We used Trello for iteration management, Slack for team communication, and phone for remote discussions.

Design always began with sketch-shops involving David and the team. Refinements were then made and feedback sought through agile-based testing and pinup sessions. User testing with real customers took place at key stages throughout development and improvements made in later iterations. There were multiple iterations as a result of testing and research, before demonstrating that it worked in a live environment with paying clients.

“They were very good at testing all of my assumptions and I became much better at building the bare minimum and really embracing the concept of Agile. It meant I had to show an imperfect product to clients, but it also meant I spent money on what was super important.”

Development started on the explorer experience to test assumptions around the output of a digitised face-to-face learning model. Thirteen two week sprints followed this, with the team working closely with David to get user feedback and critical points and iterate as the MVP was built.


David initially approached Cogent with a budget to build an MVP of Tribal Habits. We were able to design and build this for two thirds of the original estimate and Tribal Habits went live as an MVP in March 2016.

“We took something that was a prototype and turned it into something that was actually commercial, which I wasn’t sure we’d get to within the budget but we did.”

David then chose to keep working with Cogent to build the current iteration of Tribal Habits, which guides subject matter experts to share their knowledge in a conversational manner similar to a face-to-face interview.

“After the MVP, maybe three months later, we did about a month of extra work. I actually had a version one product in my hands, which we used to demonstrate that it worked in a live environment with paying clients.”

Tribal Habits now has a growing customer base and funding that’s enabled the business to instil it’s own in-house design and development team.

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