After listening to Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt and Courtland Allen of IndieHackers talk about their experiences on the Ycombinator podcast it really hit me both of them gained momentum for their products after testing the market with small simple products or minimum viable product(MVP).
Product Hunt was an email list in the beginning so really, I was forced, not being an engineer, to not spend weeks and weeks building something that may be something that people didn’t want. Instead, I was like, “Okay, well, what can I build and then what experience could I provide that would maybe validate or test whether people wanted this? I built this email list, sent it out...
Product hunt initially started its days as a mailing list, IndieHackers originated from creating a central location for people to share their own stories about the products they have built.Can't forget Ben started The Practical Dev as just a twitter account😋
Back in college, my roommate and I stumbled across multiple affordable deals local restaurants were offering to college students to attract more customers but was not marketed all that well.
We realized we could build a potential application that would allows to share and expand the deals campus wide. Once we got whiteboarding the idea was exhilarating because there literally was no other application or service like this offered at our campus. We had the prime idea, except we couldn't bring it to fruition cause we got carried away at waiting to build the "perfect" application with eye catching animation, material design, etc.
By the time the "perfect" application came around(spoiler alert: never happened). Another application, Hooked, came into scene and swooped the market.
Our could have been MVP: The minimum viable product for our product could have been simple as mailing list like product hunt were we collect student emails and forward them best deals on and/or off campus. This MVP could would have allowed us to test the market and see what kind of attractions we could have got and see how we could tailor it to our focused market.
To sum this all up, next time you have that brilliant idea forget about all those bells and whistles or which framework the cool kids are using and ask yourself the following two questions:
- What is the core value your product is delivering?
- What is the most simple and efficient way to deliver that value?
Once you answers those questions and tested your market then you know the direction you should be headed to make your product successful.