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  • 9 tips for non-tech founders to build the right MVP today (from CTO of agency that built 30+ startups)

    updated 1 week, 1 day ago 0 Member · 1 Post
  • Jessica

    Member
    November 24, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Meaning of MVP changed a lot during the last few years. From the tech perspective, no-code tools become popular, simple and accessible. From the funding perspective, you should have a product and a good traction to raise during the economic downturn. If you’re just starting your product, don’t rush into building from day 1. Here’s how to validate, build and launch startups time and cost-effectively: • Launch a landing page with value proposition (few hours, $0). Use Super.so to host Notion pages and launch site in minutes. Use templates and website builders: Webflow, Tilda, Squarespace. From the day 1 you will have the website to share and start collecting the email subscriptions. Focus on copywriting to make your thoughts right and clear (read Writing That Works by Kenneth Roman). • Decide on a single feature you need to build. Your goal is to figure out just one feature that is enough to build to show for early clients. Avoid fancy features, focus must-have workflow. It sounds simple but on practice it extremely hard to get rid of extra features. (read Make by Pieter Levels) • Start with the designs in Figma (manually or < $5k). Communicate your ideas through visuals. Text and verbal conversations with your customers are abstract and difficult to interpret. When you see a visual design you effectively see the working product. Design process will also get you clarity as you’ll likely miss a lot of details at this point. • Validate: Promote, Interview, Sell. Focus on getting first customers and interviewing them. Show them Figma designs and make sure you actually solve their problem and excite them (read The Mom Test for more). Your website will convert if you solve the actual problem and you use the right words to communicate that. Early marketing is tough and it’s mainly personal / direct outreach. ​ Once you validated, build: • Set the deadline to launch in 1 month to 2 months max. Target $30k max to build. There are some exceptions eg. regulations in FinTech/HealthTech but for the most startups it’s a viable timeline and budget if you’re serious about limiting scope. • Don’t automate, do manually first. Don’t rush to automate things before users actually use your product. Wrong automation will slow you down significantly and lock you in tech. Do ops manually, write a playbook and then automate. Hire a virtual assistent rather than dev. • Use no-code tools to automate manual ops. Once manual workflow is clear and you ready to automate it, use no-code tools first: Zapier, Airtable, Webflow, Retool, TypeForm etc. It’ll save you time and money and make you independent from the tech team. You won’t get a perfect custom UX, but early you won’t need that. Most of these tools are free for early-stage startups. • Make sure your tech team shows you demo weekly. That should be an actual product demo that you can access and click through. Not designs/written updates etc. If you don’t see regular updates — I can assure you won’t release in time. Ask to record video demos in Loom to save time on calls. • Set the goal for your launches and visualize metrics. Without specific goals you can get into endless building mode. Avoid that at all costs. Choose few main metrics (~3) and visualise them to track daily (use google sheets, airtable, retool or amplitude). Metrics should be related to traction, eg. views, conversion %, signed up users/providers, numbers of actions, retention. — There’s much more to say about iterating the product, but the rule of thumb is to limit scope heavily, release very early, test on real users and move fast based on data. Avoid hiring developers and getting much into tech until your product is validated and you’ve got the first traction. – by /hq/iharkrasnik – –

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