The world of work is changing rapidly. We see the major tech companies laying off tens of thousands of overpaid local engineers. The global workforce was brought top of mind with the pandemic, and it's been a long time trend. I saw some of this change over a decade ago with competitions for labor as an employee of TopCoder. Seeing some of the smartest engineers in the world do weeks of work for a chance at getting paid the prize was eye opening. I suggest taking the best of both worlds by hiring fractional executives and specialist contractors. Here I lay out the reasons to hire part time (1099/corp to corp/cash) vs full time (w2/salaried).
Best MVP Stack
There are countless technology stacks that can be used, some are better for certain tasks. Others are more popular, or more academically rigorous. Here, I'll lay out the case that 95% of MVPs should be built in a powerful, easy to write, popular framework. Python and Flask, Postgres, React (if necessary), Docker, Google Cloud Platform.
MVPs for Highly Regulated Industries
A number of industries create unique hurdles for startups and new products. They come in the form of compliance constraints, legal restraints, or regulatory red tape. It is possible to create disruption in these industries, and there are a few strategies that work particularly well for this. Industries that most reflect this type of compliance complexity are healthcare, finance, gambling, food supply, electricity, government or military contracts, some types of manufacturing, and transportation.
Two Sided Marketplace MVPs
A two sided marketplace is a product or website for two distinct demographics that engage in an economy based on their different needs. It can take many forms. Here I'd like to explore the types and what makes a successful marketplace MVP.
Getting Advice on Your MVP
As an entrepreneur, you're blazing a new path. This is definitional. If it's been done before, you wouldn't be needed. You have the responsibility to curate your influences and the things you want to effect your actions. Where should you seek advice? This is what I'd like to explore in this article.
Limitations of Unit Tests
Some developers are dogmatic using test driven development (TDD) philosophy. For MVPs, I think this is the wrong approach. Here I lay out some considerations for a solid development culture while you build your business. I will specifically focus on unit tests, tests that validate atomic components of an app.
MVPs for Crypto and Bitcoin
Crypto is a huge topic, and this format is too short to share comprehensive thoughts, but I want to dive into crypto MVPs, integrity, and the gap between the promise of crypto and its current reality.
Building an MVP to Raise Funds from Angels and VC
A common use case to build an essentialist MVP is to get more support for your idea. Taking the functional demo and pitching it to an investor, so you get more funds to flesh it out further, and recruit more team members to mentor, give resources, ideas, and connections to the project. Here I'm going to discuss some considerations around building an MVP for this purpose.
Molding Your MVP To Solve the Cold Start Problem
When facebook pulled together a simple app for dating, it was immediately valuable. This is the power of network effects. Not the most popular dating app in the world, but a viable, useful, and profitable tool. When you launch your dating app, while more innovative, it suffers from the cold start problem. You have zero users, so who am I going to match with? There are two main solutions to the cold start problem, and your MVP must keep these in mind while building to be successful.
How to Budget for your Minimum Viable Product
There are a number of ways to build your MVP, and each might have a different pricing structure. But here I try to lay out some rules of thumb on how to get budget ballparks for certain features.