A lot of startup founders have been in this situation: Building and launching a product as quickly as possible, only to realise much later that this isn't quite what their target customer is looking for. How do you avoid this? The answer is - Product Discovery. You need to first figure out what is the problem that your target customer is facing, and how effectively can your product solve this. In this week's #AskTheHub, Andrei lordache, CEO of UPDIVISION, share their experience of working with early-stage founders to build the ideal product. Andrei talks about: 1. Keys components that contribute to building an MVP or Software Product. 2. Advice for founders who have an MVP 3. The ups and downs of outsourcing 4. How to choose the right outsourcing team
In the modern era, we see business owners and developers are focusing on the Minimum Viable Product. MVPs are a fantastic method to capture the interest of your early adopters. Your path to a successful product can be paved with MVPs. The main goal of an MVP is to create something that serves your business objectives. It won't have all the dazzling features or aesthetics for sure, but will have everything you need to launch your ideal business. MVP will also assist you in determining early on whether you are headed in the right way. In this interview, Aenesh discusses MVPs and how it can help your business to succeed with Andrei, CEO of Updivision.
AskTheHub - Updivision
Aenesh: Hey everybody. And welcome to another AskTheHub. Today, I'm joined by Andrei who is the CEO of Updivision. Andrei. Welcome.
Andrei: Hello, and thank you, Aenesh. I'm looking forward to answer all questions about, software development and outsource you asked.
Aenesh: Um, so, you know, let's, let's jump right into it. The people who are the most interested to build software products.
Non-technical founders. So, you know, non-technical founders who are looking to build an MVP, have limited resources. They have limited time; they have limited money. So, they want to get into the development process as soon as possible. Right and they will figure out the specs. They will figure out the features, everything during the development process. What is the advice to, to such a founder?
Andrei: At Updivision, we are working with founders for more than 12 years. So we've seen our share of, of founders wanting to just jump in and finish the product as soon as possible. And , most of the time to be honest, these attempts lead to failure because, I think at the beginning, the most crucial parts in development is, is the planning.
And it might sound fancy like product discovery, but it's actually really crucial. And, the thing is, doing product discovery, it's really like it has two complements, so you, you need to do the UI design to pick the most important screens and know exactly how the MVP will look like and function like, and then write some user stories.
So you, make sure, you have covered all the corner cases and, and then, then you can plan development. You can prioritize those other stories. You can add technical sub test to them and, and estimate the effort. If you are doing this while you are developing the products, you have a lot of wasted time and resources and frustration, and the code base can suffer because you'll change you.
Mid development and that will lead to a lot of, technical data. So yeah, the advice is don't do it spend a couple of weeks, want to create your product is, is really big on figuring out exactly what one from and MVP, your users' stories, do UI design, and then, start work, start.
Aenesh: Perfect. So, the advice is don't do it at all.
Yes. and then yeah. Makes sense so yeah, you know, in terms of developing the product, then, you know, what do you think are the three key things that, you know, founders need to keep in mind in terms of an MVP or a software product?
Andrei: So, the first thing, and, and I've, I've seen this, um, in action many times is like, don't do too much. Founders have these nasty, habits, that, to crowd as many features as possible within the first launch, you know, when, when iPhone, when the first iPhone launched, they didn't even have a search for the address book. So, you weren't able to search your contents and it worked just fine because they had a lot of iteration in the, and a lot of iPhones to launch.
So, um, try to do it as minimal as possible, identify the, pain points of your users and build the minimal features for that. Um, so this is one don't do too much. Second don't, underestimate project planning and, UI design. As I said before, do UI design at the beginning, know how your app would. If you can test that, that design a bit with some of your users and then do development.
And third, once you start a development, don't interrupt the developers once theb is, is done. You know, so you've, you've done your homework. You've, you've done UI design, you've done a product discovery. Then let the developers finish their job and, and then get feedback from the users. And then we, the rates.
So. Those are the themes.
Aenesh: Yeah. That four years almost reminded me of cyber punk, which took so long to build. And then after that, no one was pretty much happy with the game. So crazy. So at, so one of the things is, you know, you said you need to launch quickly. And sometimes what happens with founders when they're launching quickly is they've come through that.
Let's say four-year time. And they still feel that their MVP is, is an MVP or their product is an MVP, you know? and it's not really got out of the stage of being, um, you know, the first version of their product. What do you give such founders and advice because, um, you know, they need to essentially come up with a, a new product, without having any downtime.
And at the same time, you know, they need to be able to test out features. So what's the advice to such founders?
Andrei: We are working with, with many established, or successful MVPs. Um, and yeah, we, we see this need a lot of time. So you are, you are on the market for a couple of years. We have clients and, um, your, your product is selling, but it, it doesn't look that good.
You have problems with some of the flows. Some of the users are complaining. You have a long list of features, that are requested by, by your clients and yeah, you feel the pressure and to, to do the app, to, to have a new one. And at the same time, you have, you have more funds. You, you have, you have more money that at the beginning because you have paying clients and we decided that, that we need to step up again.
So, um, a mistake that can happen here is to try. We redo the platform from scratch, like to, to like wipe all the effort that you've put in the platform and reach from scratch. And that's, that's a mistake. And we've seen that several times with, with, companies that spent, more than one year and trying to redo the, to redo the app.
And if you spend one year in, in doing the new app, the old app will not stay, um, You not freeze because people want new features from that. And you end up with two separate code bases, you know, so the best approach is to, o kind of a, a redesigned, a rediscovery process. Find the, the most important features that need to be implemented now, and then have like do gradual improvements.
Constant focus on, on some parts of the app, change the design a bit, change the flows a bit, but nothing major. So you work on the same code base and, you can do at the same time, back fixes and, new features implementation and at the same time change some of the flows. Um, so yeah, that's it.
In any case, don't try to do it completely and. We write the entire codes.
Aenesh: Yeah. That, that makes sense. And sometimes, you know, one of the things that people also do or companies also do is that when they're, you know, trying to solve these problems, they're looking to outsource a part of the development, um, you know, the development process.
So what would you say are some of the upsides and downsides and, of, you know, outsourcing the development team or, you know, outsourcing even a part of their, product to be developed elsewhere?
Andrei: I think it's really. To the, the company core business, you know, so there are kind of two ologies of companies.
So we have company that the core business is not, selling pro a software product, a such product. So for example, I don't know, maybe they're, they're selling, they have stores and they're selling, cosmetics, let's say so for them, doesn't make too much sense to invest investment internal it departs.
Because yeah, it's really hard to find good developers and keep them engaged. And also it's hard for you as a company that sells that doesn't do software as, as a core business to make sure, the people are motivated and the core base is really good. So at, at some point we had a client that has had two developers in house and, and they.
And, um, nobody knew the product anymore. So they had an eCommerce, so nobody knew what they did there. And they had, they were forced to, to, do everything from scratch. So yeah, if you are this kind of company, um, find, find a good outsourcing company that that is big enough, to, to, to give you great developers and, and, and, and make sure like, there's a hand of a process.
To another agency, if that's the case at some point, but if you are pro, if you're a company that's, um, your core business is to develop a product, then it makes sense to have some, most of the environment in house. And if you start just starting have a technical co-founder that its internal.
And then, if you don't have on budget, hiring, outsourcing company and then have a plan to, um, to do handover to, and, and be able to hire internal developers and have a process for that. So, we've done that with several companies, I build MVP and, and then help them hire people internally and, and then, maybe help them with the device and some parts of gap, like the front end, but the core like stayed in house.
Aenesh: So yeah, that's that kind of the, the, I don't know, the vice and, and the pro pros and, and points for doing outsourcing it, it depends on the. But let's say if I already have an in-house development team, so I've kind of fall under the second category. I want to get some additional man manpower to let's say speed up the process, or even, you know, take up, you know, ask the outsource team to take up specific features.
How can I make sure that, you know, the software development team I'm engaging is the best match.
Andrei: I think if you already have an established developing house, it'll be kind of easy for you to check the, the technical. The technical knowledge of a person. So yeah, first of all, make sure you are like talking and interviewing the people that are going to join your team and make sure they're like, technical fit, but what's most important.
They need to look like your ideal. Employee's. So they, they need to be able to communicate. They need to be able to join your team to, to, be part of dailies. You have to onboard them on the communication. Like I don't know, slack, for example. So, be more interested to have a great cultural fit. And so
Aenesh: I think we've got some really good information for, you know, product discovery, product development, and even, you know, MVP.
You know, thanks so much, Andrei, for sharing your valuable time and a lot of great information with us today.
Andrei: It was my pleasure. And we're looking for I'm looking forward to any other questions that our listeners might, might have. So feel free to, to write any questions or comments, any feedback is welcome, and I'm, I'm glad I was able to do this interview.
Aenesh: Perfect. Thanks. Thanks so much. And yes, you know, people, if y'all have any questions, let us know, and me and Andre will try and reply to you as soon as possible. And I will see you all in the next, ask the hub. Thank you.
With an MVP, you can finally introduce your concept to potential clients, start making money, enter the market, and get ongoing feedback. Time is effectively utilised as a result, and your organisation is exposed to investors and prepared to be profitable. MVPs can be developed with less time, money, and people and assist you in starting the process. You may therefore get more mileage out of your vision and goals. Uber, Airbnb, and many more well-known brands were once MVPs. Looking forward to execute your idea as MVP, feel free to connect with us!