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Building an MVPLMUFebruary 2013Tony Karrer, Ph.D.CEO, TechEmpower, Inc.akarrer@techempower.comhttp://socalcto.com
2Background• Ph.D. Computer Science, LMU Professor CS 10 Years• Founder– Sprinkler Systems Installation (age 15)– Knowledg...
3What is an MVP?• Minimum Viable Product“The minimum viable product is that version of a newproduct which allows a team to...
4Care Prep
5Ways to Make Your MVP More Minimum• Paper Prototype• Smoke and Mirrors Prototype• Fake Site• Leverage Existing Platforms ...
6LoanToolbox and PhotoZone
7Before You Build Anything• Wireframes• Graphic Comps• Paper Test and Iterate• Don’t Miss Key Questionshttp://www.socalcto...
8Balsamiq
9Complexity of Your ProductComplex> 12 Prog Mon> $100KSimple< 3 Prog Mon< $35K
10Complexity of Your ProductComplex> 12 Prog MonSimple< 3 Prog MonEquity Only DeveloperDedicated Technical TeamIn House, O...
11Founder Developer Gap• Mark Suster, GRP, IdealStartup Team– http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2013/02/06/how-to-configu...
12Outsourced Designers/Developers• eLance, oDesk, 99 Designs• Off-Shore Firms• Do You Have Ability to Direct/Review?• Cont...
13Elusive (Illusive) Technical Cofounder
14Be Prepared When You Meet a Developer• They Want– Solve a problem, create something neat from scratch– Learn something n...
15How Do I Interview a Developer?• Review and Discuss Portfolio• Check Match for Culture• Simple Coding Tests or Review Co...
16How to Judge Developers orSymptoms of a Weak Developer• Frequently missed deadlines• Delivery of code/product that clear...
17What Language Should I Use?• Ruby/Rails• Python/Django• PHP + Zend/Cake or Joomla/Drupal/WordPress• Java• .Net• Mobile? ...
Building an MVPLMUFebruary 2013Tony Karrer, Ph.D.CEO, TechEmpower, Inc.akarrer@techempower.comhttp://socalcto.com
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Building an MVP

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Building an MVP

  1. 1. Building an MVPLMUFebruary 2013Tony Karrer, Ph.D.CEO, TechEmpower, Inc.akarrer@techempower.comhttp://socalcto.com
  2. 2. 2Background• Ph.D. Computer Science, LMU Professor CS 10 Years• Founder– Sprinkler Systems Installation (age 15)– Knowledge Stream ($59M exit)– TechEmpower (1997 - present)– Aggregage (2010 – present)• Part-Time CTO / Technical Advisor– Talk with 100+ startups each year
  3. 3. 3What is an MVP?• Minimum Viable Product“The minimum viable product is that version of a newproduct which allows a team to collect the maximumamount of validated learning about customers with theleast effort.”• Really Not about Showing to Investors, GettingFeedback from Customers• Test / Prove Aspects of Product– Cost of Customer Acquisition, Conversion Rates /Pricing, Viral Coefficient
  4. 4. 4Care Prep
  5. 5. 5Ways to Make Your MVP More Minimum• Paper Prototype• Smoke and Mirrors Prototype• Fake Site• Leverage Existing Platforms or Third PartyProducts• Steve Blank – Startup Owner’s Manual –Customer Development
  6. 6. 6LoanToolbox and PhotoZone
  7. 7. 7Before You Build Anything• Wireframes• Graphic Comps• Paper Test and Iterate• Don’t Miss Key Questionshttp://www.socalcto.com/2011/08/32-questions-developers-may-have-forgot.html– Targets/Mobile, Notifications, Email, Marketing Tracking, Analytics / Metrics /Reporting, SEO Support, Social / Viral, Location, Time Zones, Video• End Result: Wireframes, Comps, FunctionalNotes/ Specification
  8. 8. 8Balsamiq
  9. 9. 9Complexity of Your ProductComplex> 12 Prog Mon> $100KSimple< 3 Prog Mon< $35K
  10. 10. 10Complexity of Your ProductComplex> 12 Prog MonSimple< 3 Prog MonEquity Only DeveloperDedicated Technical TeamIn House, Outsource,HybridFreelance Developer(s)Technical Cofounder
  11. 11. 11Founder Developer Gap• Mark Suster, GRP, IdealStartup Team– http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2013/02/06/how-to-configure-your-startup-team/Technical AdvisorProgrammer FriendPart-time CTO?
  12. 12. 12Outsourced Designers/Developers• eLance, oDesk, 99 Designs• Off-Shore Firms• Do You Have Ability to Direct/Review?• Contract Issues– Own the Code Repository, Hosting Arrangement, etc.– Iterations– Deliverables/Features/Functions– Test, Fix Process– Price - Not to Exceed– Termination• Agile?
  13. 13. 13Elusive (Illusive) Technical Cofounder
  14. 14. 14Be Prepared When You Meet a Developer• They Want– Solve a problem, create something neat from scratch– Learn something new– Food and other Rewards• Hate– Salespeople / Being Sold– Pretending to Know More Than You Know– Not Knowing Enough– Time Wasters - Dont talk too much. Stay on point. Onlygo social when they go social.
  15. 15. 15How Do I Interview a Developer?• Review and Discuss Portfolio• Check Match for Culture• Simple Coding Tests or Review Code They’ve Written• Audition Project• Get Help
  16. 16. 16How to Judge Developers orSymptoms of a Weak Developer• Frequently missed deadlines• Delivery of code/product that clearly has not been tested;Bugs – no big deal. The system keeps crashing – noproblem; Annoyed at testers for finding bugs.• Massive overtime• Fixing one thing breaks something else• Source code control is only marginally being used• No attention to detail, don’t ask questions• The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time. The last10% takes the other 90%.
  17. 17. 17What Language Should I Use?• Ruby/Rails• Python/Django• PHP + Zend/Cake or Joomla/Drupal/WordPress• Java• .Net• Mobile? ESP? Analytics? Video? SEO? Social/Viral?
  18. 18. Building an MVPLMUFebruary 2013Tony Karrer, Ph.D.CEO, TechEmpower, Inc.akarrer@techempower.comhttp://socalcto.com

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