This is part 2 of the Building successful MVP with offshore team.
What is MVP?
Let me define what I mean by MVP before going into recommendations. MVP is a product with the least set of features that founders can use to test their business model. You have to consider whether it’s a throw-away or a foundation for your real product. Most founders start MVP with a throw-away approach in mind. They would like to build something quick & dirty and test with a few clients. They plan to build a solid product if MVP has some traction.
It doesn’t work this way in most cases. Founders continue building on top of the throw-away MVP as soon as they get some traction. And soon they have a code that’s difficult to maintain and grow. Their application doesn’t scale and performance is bad. And sooner or later founders face a taught decision – invest into rebuilding the product.
It should not be this way. It’s possible to build a prototype without any investment at all (I am talking about cash, not time). You can do the UI in Sketch and test the UX in InVision. These are very valuable tools that any founder should consider mastering anyway. BTW, I discourage a common theme on startup forums- learn how to code. Programming is not easy. It will take a lot of time to learn it to the level where you can produce something beyond “Hello, world” application.
Originally published at syerik.net.
It’s possible to build MVP on a solid foundation that will be a “keeper”. And it does not need more time or money to build than a throw-away product. I’ll be describing how this kind of MVP can be built.
Developer is not enough
Steve told me: “If only I could find a good developer …“. If you also think that the “right developer” is the way to success, sorry, but you are wrong. If you think that you can pass your vision to a developer and get it back as an application that is close enough to it – forget about it. Save your time and money.
To build a good MVP you need:
- Product Manager – translates your vision into actual product behavior
- Project Manager – triages the work and makes sure that it’s done on time
- UX/UI Designer – defines the experience that users get from your application
- Architect – makes sure that the “foundation” of your application is good and you will not have to throw it away later (optional, but …)
- Developer – writes code
- QA – finds the bugs and verifies the fixes
If you find a developer who can wear all these hats – great, but it’s not going to be cheap. Now, you can hire people to do PM, PrM, UX/UI, QA. Or you can do it yourself. In any case – there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch – you will pay for this work with your time or your money.
I will share how you can do all these work yourself in the next posts (it’s going to be more practical).