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How to accelerate the development of your MVP

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Oh, how nice is it to have life experience – both good and bad.

I'm gonna share a little secret – the best way to accelerate the development time of an MVP is to stop slowing it down. Let me explain. I've had the pleasure of working in a tech startup with a very ambitious goal. Everything started off really great – a friendly team, a couple of 'superstars', an innovative idea, clear goals and objectives...

What I've witnessed next were absolutely pathetic project management practices which ultimately led to the startup's downfall even before the guys have completed the development of their MVP. What happened? Well, I don't like to be overly categorical and unambiguous in my conclusions, so I'll just share some of the main takeaways.

First of all, the project management actively denied the importance of market research. Asked about target audience, the answer often was: "Everyone is our target audience". How do you like that? Everyone, huh? How are you going to test a hypothesis if literally everyone is your target audience – anyone can like anything, right? Doesn't sound too wise of you ask me. But I gave them the benefit of doubt, for all I knew they could be creating the next Google or something. Spoiler alert: they weren't. So here's the first takeaway – please, please have a clear target audience in mind and do your homework (i.e. market research).

Next, things get even more interesting. Wireframes? To hell with them. Who needs wireframes anyway? Why waste our precious time developing ugly blueprints no one really understands (see: doesn't want to) when we can start developing the final version of the UI design? Sounds pretty, logical, doesn't it?

14.

14 is the number of times our UI designer had to start from the beginning, changing things like app structure, highlighted features, adding and removing buttons, and literally adapting the existing design to the ever-changing concept. Oh, poor soul. Look, no one likes wireframes, I get it. For you, as a founder, as an entrepreneur, wireframes might seem like a waste of time, an intermediary and unnecessary step between your idea and its execution. But you need to understand that it's a way to 'lock' the app structure in a way. Why? Well, simply because while the designer is usually a somewhat soft body, able to adapt quickly and change stuff, the developers are much more rigid, so when you pass them down a design file – it's a dogma for them. For them, it's a 'locked' concept in need of an execution. Changing it will cost you time, money and, at times, people.

And guess what? That's exactly what happened. Both the design and the development teams worked in a parallel manner, so each change in route resulted in costly 'redo-s' on the developers' part. We simply weren't going anywhere.

Now, I can feel you're ready for the headliner of the show. Market changes and Technological advancement. Oh boy, where do I start. Imagine you're writing a fantasy book about goblins and you're almost done. Then, you see that a book comes out and it has dragons in it. So, instead of finishing your book in a week and focusing on marketing it, you spend 5 months shoehorning dragons into your book about goblins. And hey, you might succeed. But when you're on your last dragon to add, another book comes out and it has elves. So you spend another 5 months trying to fit elves in your story about goblins AND dragons. And you might succeed again, but the reality is that your competitors already have two bestsellers while you are still busy negotiating space with elves.

And that's exactly what happened in the company I've worked in previously. Market changes quickly, there always is new tech around the corner and it's simply impossible to keep up. Go explain it to the project management. The remedy?

Imagine that the world is frozen, but time is not. In other words, imagine that there's nothing happening in the world, but your deadlines are still somehow relevant. So, if you've 'locked' your idea and its possible execution – stick with it no matter what. It's not an easy task. Do you know that the first cultivated meat burger was unveiled in 2013? More than 10 years have passed. Do you see the decline in 'real' meat consumption? Keep it in mind and it might become easier.

The next issue was much less prosaic. Mmmmmoney.

Around three to four months in it became apparent that the company just doesn't have enough resources to maintain its employees. An explanation we got at the brink of its bankruptcy was that "have we launched sooner, we'd literally see mountains of gold". Except we wouldn't, obviously. The moral of the story – don't bite more than you can chew. A shitshow.

But! A highly enlightening shitshow. So, as I've said earlier, the best way to accelerate the development time of your MVP is to not slow it down. It was a pity that such a great team of developers and designers went to waste because of management issues. Don't let that happen in your project. And if you are confident in your vision, project management abilities and resources – well, then you are ready to build your dream-team!

And to build your dream-team, you’ll need a dream-… someone to help you with that. That’s us, Match.dev. At Match.dev we connect you with top talent, quickly and affordably. And keep in mind, you're not outsourcing a dev – you're getting a full-fledged team member who seamlessly integrates into your project management ecosystem and works in line with your product strategy. Drop us a line and let us help you find the right developers! team@match.dev

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