Testing Your MVP

MVPs are constantly changing to adapt to the market and needs of users. You have to be very judicious in your testing, so that you don’t waste valuable cycles on things that will be thrown out soon after writing, or something that just lengthens development time beyond what the market can bear. You don’t want to be crushed by a …

Promotion Paths for Your Engineers

When hiring your first engineers, it’s important to show them you have a plan for their success at your company. The best way to do this is to have a promotion pathway laid out for different levels of engineers at your company. Aligning individual contributor goals to broader organization goals ensures mission alignment and work is focused. You may choose …

Competitive Analysis for Your MVP

Doing a competitive analysis on your MVP and business idea yields many benefits. It helps identify gaps in the market, shows where the attention and money is focused, and may expose features that are extremely technically complex. It’s a good thing to do before starting building your MVP to ensure you’re hyperfocused on your unique value proposition. Peter Thiel’s book …

How to Conduct Usability Interviews with Users

With a functional app, you want to test before putting out to early adopters. Early adopters are going to be your biggest fans, so you want to get the experience as close to right as you can before launch. This is where usability testing comes in. Running a series of interviews with potential customers who haven’t seen the app before …

Choosing and Implementing Open Source Libraries

When building an MVP, you want to steal as much code as possible. You’re not worried about code licensing, you want to validate the market as quickly as possible with open source. So you want to use third party libraries to do the heavy lifting in your app. This is the heart of most great new companies, leveraging an emerging …

Engineering Hiring: Technical Evaluation and Making Metrics of Values

Interviewing engineers is a complex task that requires special skills. A new industry has popped up catering to this need — Karat runs interviews for medium to large sized companies, with some customization. Because the engineers and the core of your company, you should be thoughtful in who you hire and why. As the graphic above describes, the cost of …

Which Cloud to Choose?

There are a few virtualization choices out there, and for most startups this choice is necessary. Buying a server is all but completely impractical in this day and age. So it comes down to a few top companies. I have a clear bias toward GCP, and I hope to make the case for it here, but there are reasons to …

No Code Platforms: Worth it?

No Code solutions have come a long way in the past few years. But there is still a lot to consider before committing to one of these solutions. Pros No Code platforms allow business development, operations, and product managers to build product directly. Most don’t require any software or coding experience at all. They grant functionality to your app that …

Language Rundown

Choosing the right language for your app is an important decision point for your company. There are nearly infinite strong opinions on each language and which one is best. In this article I’ll be as objective as possible and lay out pros and cons for major languages. Most languages are good for a specific use case, and the top few …

Dev Shops and Upwork Contractors, How to Build Best

There are lots of ways to get an app built. I explored some tradeoffs in my article on outsourcing vs hiring inhouse. Here, we’re discussing the advantages and disadvantages of dev shops and hiring single contractors. Dev Shops Software development shops can vary wildly in quality, but share a lot of similar attributes. Dev shops generally have 2-50 developers on …