#3 Idea to Product: Resource Management

Resource management

Entrepreneurship is about minimum resources, maximum results. There’s a beautiful entrepreneurial mindset for product development: Get your idea as simple and as fast out there, as you can.

The development usually takes more time than initially estimated, often twice or three times as much time. It’s because of what I previously mentioned — running tests, capturing feedback, you’ll end up with much different product than initially envisioned. It might not be a problem, as long as you are aware of this obstacle.

Simplify

Great way to avoid running out of resources, ending up with an unfinished product, is to start with the simplest version of your idea. Choose a single problem you can solve well. Bring the solution to perfection.

Example — Your vision is to develop a portal where users exchange favours for tokens that represent hours they’ve spent helping one another. The product can be a form of a social network, a mobile app, enabling people to list their needs, their skills and trading favours for hours of their time.

Here’s a speculation, of how this could be solved, from the most resources heavy or development consuming, to the simplest, that could still make the vision possible:

  1. Social network; Feed of needs, with likes, comments, a matching algorithm; Blockchain currency representing the hours; E-wallets; Mobile app
  2. Social network; Feed of needs, with likes, comments, a matching algorithm; Blockchain currency representing the hours; E-wallets; A responsive website instead of the app
  3. Social network; Feed of needs, with likes, comments, a matching algorithm; Storing the hours in database instead of blockchain; A responsive website instead of the app
  4. A simple spreadsheet and a group chat, or facebook group and some instructions for users; Storing the hours in database instead of blockchain; A responsive website instead of the app

You will learn a lot about your idea, actually seeing how people use it, what do they need and how to they interact. What you consider important might be irrelevant.

Developers are very well paid and for a good reason. Chances are, development is the biggest cost of testing if your idea will get market traction. Or in other words — if it will work. If you can simplify your idea by 50%, you have twice the chances to make it happen, leaving you with the space needed for changes.

Simplifying also helps when communicating to your users/customers. You’re here, because you found the need and have an idea for the solution, now you need to know how to communicate your solution. Even before you working on the product, you can test if your solution, communication, is appealing to the audience — again I’d recommend getting familiar with Product Management. Attention is highest value in our busy World, you don’t get much of it. Communication that can be easily understood is essential.

What is the one essential feature, what is the one thing that you want to optimise, enable people to do? Instagram — sharing photos. WhatsApp — chatting. Telegram — encrypted chats. Pinterest — collecting and sharing inspiration. Youtube — sharing videos. Uber — on demand drivers (aka ride sharing).

I’ve seen too often, a simple idea grow out of control, we call it #featureCreep. It will swallow your resources, leave everyone confused about what you offer and undermine the entire venture. Figure out the essence. What is the niche that you have found, what can you deliver better from others.

Read more about #bootstrapping and #leanStartup to learn more about the topic.

As a developer, I refuse to work on projects that I don’t think makes sense. There’s plenty of projects and work out there to choose from. Perhaps some don’t care, but for me the satisfaction which is more valuable from money, is to see my work flourish. I am guessing this is true for most independent developers, and with such, you will most probably end up working with. Otherwise, why would we be independent? Why are you an entrepreneur not an employee?

Key takeaways:

  • what is the essential problem you’re solving, how can you solve it best? Simplify, prototype!
  • development is expensive, avoid development as much as possible
  • get ready to communicate your idea with a developer, know what you need

Do you like this article? Please leave some “claps” or let me know what you think in comments, most appreciated! Thank you.

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Hi I am building web products