The Value of a MVP
Hi my name is Diego Pacheco a second year in the two year MBA of 2016. Since I was 12 years old I started coding websites, designing and start selling services to my family & friends. Years after, I
earned my computer science degree and started developing web based software. During that time one of my friends, who just graduated from Babson, offered me to start a Yelp/Open table for Costa Rica, it sounded like a great idea so I started coding the platform from scratch.
After almost two years coding the platform, Reservelo.com, we decide to launch weeks before Mother’s Day (15th of August), which is the second date after valentines, that all of the people go out to dinner/lunch and usually gets it’s a nightmare to get a table in restaurants. We knew that the platform was going to be a hit until days after we launch and didn’t have any reservation, even worse not even registered people.
I was completely disappointed. By that time, I was working at Equifax and there were days in which I went to work in the morning and after work start coding until sunrise, slept one to two hours and get back to work. Weeks after launched our opportunity passed, and we only got one registered user which told us to please remove him from our platform.
After launching Reservelo.com I went on a surf trip to Indonesia with my best friends. I was completely mind blown by the culture and amazing experience, it was like pressing rest button and made me step back and realize what I needed to do next, so I decided to get an MBA.
While preparing for the GMAT there was going to be presidential elections in around 1 month and the polls where very different from each other. So for two to three days I couldn’t stop thinking about creating an online poll so one day I stop studying and decided that for one day I’ll just focus on coding a very simple app to people to vote for their favorite candidate. I took several free html examples, created a very poor sql structure, put everything together and “launch” it. After 48 hours I had 18,000 users, I went on the news and got several important leads, like job offers, connected with important people. It was incredible!!
I was receiving tons of feedback from users, which some of them I quickly adopt them even one person took the time to do reverse engineering and hacked me by entering the database and modifying data, which I was actually honored that someone actually took time to do it.
What have I learned here with both projects? You don’t need to have a robust software or spend months planning, all you need to do is get your product out there and see if at least you are getting some interactions with users. With Reservelo, we never have any interaction with clients until almost 2 years of coding, on the other hand with the voting platform with no planning, poor execution I had 18K users.
I know it’s very hard doing an MVP because you don’t want your brand and reputation to be damage with a poor design, implementation but trust me this will save you thousands of hours and money.
Last year I started www.cociel.org. Cociel is a conscious food brand created to support local producers export their products and boost their businesses, while sharing the joy of our tropical flavors. We created the website, branding and launch it, we started getting visits, people asking for our products before even haven’t bought any hot sauce from our supplier.
We believe that Virtual Reality will help us deliver our mission, which is sharing the stories of our producers to our clients, so they will be able to travel without actually traveling. Instead of spending money and hours filming the video we created a fake YouTube video on our website, tracking every click to the video. We realized that every 25 visits we are getting 1 click to the video. Now we have to make the decision whether implement it or not.
I hope this brief story help you start your tech idea running today. If you need any help or question, feel free to email me to firstname.lastname@example.org!