Boston, Advice
04 April 2016

Sell First; Scale Later

Here's the problem with building something that you predictively think will work: there's a big chance it could fail or come crashing down. 
 
Your software should do one or two things, and do them really well. Feature creep, over-engineering and over-optimizing for anything will take your product into a dark abyss from which there's no return. The main aim for any founder or engineering team should be to build an MVP first, then have the confidence to sell the product yourself. 
 
So, if your MVP is just getting off the ground, keep the following principles in mind:
 
1. Build software that solves one problem really well in the simplest manner.
Dont create a product that does a lot of things decentlycreate something that does one thing better than anything else on the market.
 
2. Dont focus on 100% automation for any process from day oneaim for total automation as you scale.
If you have to go deliver coffee on your own bike for your uber for coffee app, do it until there's an absolute need to integrate with an API or external vendor system. 
 
3. Use a quick to deploy and edit stack. 
Shift to a more scalable framework in the future when you feel that your MVP functionality has reached a dead end. 
 
4. Don't forget that marketing, sales, and customer service account for 70% of your start-up resources.
Dont spend 14 hours a day on code if you're a team of two or three. Instead, help build tools for your sales team and integrate 3rd party software that can help you make more money. 
 
5. Don't be scared of critical feedback from users.
MVP's are supposed to be rough around the edges, and your early users and customers will define the path your product will take. 
 
6. Make full use of free resources like GitHub, CodePen, and other open sourcing sites to help save time and money. Just dont forget to return the favor by sharing your own code once your start-up is making millions.
 
If you're a non technical founder and need help setting up your first MVP, or building on top of your current scalable stack, talk to our chat bot TARA on trytara.com; we're the on-demand team for small businesses. 
 

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