Chris, the Founder & CEO of DiveViz, contacted me early 2018 because he needed some help getting his idea off the ground. Chris was an avid diver & surfer living in Ocean Beach. He noticed that surfers had it made - surfline provided reports of surf conditions literally anywhere, anytime on any coast. He envisioned that the dive community would greatly benefit from a tool that could allow divers to better predict underwater current conditions before making a trip to the shore. With my product background, I was able to help him devise a plan to get his idea off the ground.

Problem Statement & Hypothesis: 

It’s hard to know when conditions are right for people to get in the water for diving, especially when they live more inland.  This is especially true of visibility, which is the most important factor for divers. Other things such as underwater currents, upwellings, and temperature are also important, but visibility seems to be the one that changes the fastest, and is affected by almost everything.


Hypothesis: If interested “divers” were able to tell when conditions are good for diving, they would be able to get in the water, dive more frequently, and others would be interested in picking up diving as a hobby or activity​​​

User Research: What questions to ask & how to get them?

We needed to have some base knowledge in order to test our assumptions. We conducted competitive analysis and research as well as surveyed the local diving community to get some good read outs. ​​

  • How many people have this problem?

    • Look at number of certified divers in California, the US, the world​

    • Review forums for popular dive spots and glean any pain points or frustrations seen with diving conditions or visiblity.

  • How many people might be interested in learning to dive?

    • Get information on new sign ups per month from local dive schools or organizations

    • Chat with dive school leads, talk to those who opt out of certification 

  • Is the market growing/shrinking?

    • SCUBA is fairly stagnant

    • Freediving is growing in popularity due to a large number of courses becoming available recently

  • Is this problem worth solving?

    • Survey certified divers on how often they head out to dive, what determines their ability to dive, would a tool to predict underwater visibility conditions be useful?

MSCW Method: Must, Should, Could & Won't

Based on the feedback we obtained from canvasing local dive shops, researching about the dive community through forums, & surveying certified divers, we were able to ideate on functionality & features the platform could have in order to help support & even grow the dive community. From there, we employed the MSCW method to prioritize the features for an MVP implementation to fit the current needs of the diving market. With the help of fellow engineer friends, we ranked our must have and should have features by level of effort required to deploy it. This helped us create our first roadmap for DiveViz and allowed us to break features down into stories that a development team could begin building. 

DIVEVIZ is still in an early stage of development, awaiting external funding before we can move forward on any further development of the software. In the meantime, Chris continues to support & host local DiveViz MeetUp Groups in San Diego and has even started offering FreeDiving lessons on the website. If you are interested in learning to dive, learning more about the product or investment opportunities, please visit www.diveviz.com.