In this article I share a recent experience of a user testing session that was conducted. I believe that this experience shows how much easier things become when user testing is performed. Not only does it yield data about your Minimum Viable Product, it is also important to meet regularly with real users to gather user requirements during the initial stages of the development of your product – before it is offered to the market – for these reasons.
The term ‘minimal viable product’ is a common buzzword these days in the realm of business start-ups and early stage ventures by product managers and developers who are trying to perfect their product offering. The Minimal Viable Product (Minimum Viable Product) is actually better defined as a process and not necessarily as a product goal in itself.
A Definition of the Minimal Viable Product (Minimum Viable Product)
When it comes to outsourcing, India is a country on the verge of many exciting developments. While wages are known to be generally lower than western countries, the quality of the Indian developers and project managers is fast becoming legitimate competition to the rest of the world.
In the past, people in India have worked six days a week – and sometimes seven – racking up well over the typical forty-hour work-week. Recently, however, things have evolved, as India’s hi-tech workers become more westernized in their approach to not only technology but the important balance of family/free time and careers.
Israel, although small and residing in an unstable region in the world, is a unique mixture of enthusiastic professionals and companies, which share creativeness and out of the box thinking. The tradition of entrepreneurial spirit is prevalent in Israel and this means many small businesses that are always looking for the next creative way to solve a problem.
Poland is a growing center of technology outsourcing, with expansion rapidly taking this country from unknown to sought-after. A gem of the European Union, Poland offers an exceptional crop of technology professionals – programmers, project managers and more – all of whom can be assets to your start-up.
With an emphasis on IP security, and infrastructure, many American and European businesses feel comfortable working with Polish technology workers. A common language and culture – coupled together with an exceptional university system – and there is already a strong foundation for finding the right outsourcing in this country.
The ability to find talented and skilled employees all over the world is a benefit to every business. It is also a way to expand your technology investment as you discover the potential in outsourcing.
It is much more than a decision about money, however. Before you outsource technology, you must examine what your needs are, and what is available to you. A Chief Technology Officer can assist you in this exploration of opportunities. It is their job to know the markets, to know what is being offered and where it might fit into your big picture scenario.
The Chief Technology Officer – is a rapidly evolving position in the business world. It exists the way technology itself does; adaptive, experimental and ever-changing but absolutely necessary in the current environment.
Because the position is fluid dependent on your business, and your customer needs, the job description for a Chief Technology Officer isn’t set in stone. Even your ideas when you begin the relationship will change, as you get feedback and gain experience as to what is working. Really, the idea of the CTO is a way of opening up your thought processes when it comes to your start-up.
Each individual part of your team contributes to the whole and there in turn grows your business. They’re as important as your product or service, because nothing moves past the idea stage without your team.
One of the pieces of your puzzle may be hiring a Chief Technology Officer. A CTO can work on a consulting basis (Consulting CTO) or part-time (Part Time CTO); their goal is to build your technology platform, get it running to its optimal level, and then turn it over to a maintainer. The Chief Technology Officer is entrusted with a large part of your foundation – technology is the engine of most start-ups today. Hiring a CTO is one of your first “outside the box” decisions.
A CTO’s job is to create a unique technology plan for your business – to get the most of each dollar you invest in this all-important area. They are looking at who you are – and who you want to be – and tailoring the plan to your needs.
The Lean Start-up is an interesting concept from the brain of Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author; he authors a blog and has written a very popular book by the same name. He espouses the idea of streamlining your start-up’s focus to deliver the desired product to the right audience. And then to use that audience to perfect your offering.
Lean is not about money necessarily – though the aim is to do without large amounts of seed money – but about the best use of resources to accomplish your company’s goals.
When setting up your new business – regardless of budget – there are absolutes you must put into place. The structure of your start-up determines so much in those early days and missing a component can delay or derail success.
A Chief Technology Officer, isn’t on everyone’s list as a must-hire. In fact, it might seem a luxury to bring someone in who can design and develop a technology plan for your start-up. Read More …
When you hire your start-up’s initial staff, you are not just looking for employees. You are creating a team. They aren’t going to function as individuals – they are going to have to work together as a unit, combing what is the best about each of their skill sets and what they can do as a team.
A good team player is someone who can work with other personalities, able to combine their abilities with someone else’s and work towards a common goal. Communication is a huge part of making your start-up work; you can’t keep track of every detail so it’s up to individual team members to share their progress and concerns with others, so everything is addressed quickly and efficiently.
As you build the foundation of your start-up, there is no human resources department to foist off interviewing to. At this point in your company’s creation, every person you hire is in a unique position to influence its success. No redundancy, no safety nets.
This moment is about hiring the right people.
A resume can give you a quick overview, a timeline of someone’s career. But when it comes to hiring for your start-up, throw the resume away.
At this critical juncture, hiring isn’t about words on a page. It’s not even about filling a position. It’s about selecting pieces of the puzzle, slotting them together and making your start-up as strong as it can possibly be.
Our ideas, our designs, our service, our product – they are the lifeblood of our start-up. When we’re ready to take the next step – the step into making them a reality, we want to make sure they are placed securely on a platform that will support, nurture and grow them.
Much like all the thought and care that went into the creation of our idea, we want to look at what surrounds them. Technology is such a huge part of this equation. An email is more important than a phone number, a website is a no-brainer. Would you even think to launch your business without an electronic presence?
Our goal is to help build working partnerships between entrepreneurs who have ideas for products and those professionals who have the know-how and ability to productize their ideas and bring them to the market.
JumpStartCTO is managed by David Rashty, an entrepreneur and early stage investor. David is the founder of CreativeMinds which focus on WordPress and Magento products and behind a non-profit dedicated to Desert Knowledge Sharing