July 9, 2020

The MVP

John Saddington @8bit

We're on Step 4 of the product-market fit process and this is after, of course, our working prototype that we had built-out in March.

It was (and still is) a hodgepodge workflow manually put together via off-the-shelf tools, save our core communication device. Now, we're automating all of those manual processes and documenting our process as we build.

But it dawned on me that I've never discretely documented out what I believe our mvp should actually do until I responded to a comment this morning; consequently, I wanted to share those thoughts here on our canonical log of product updates!

Here's what our mvp should functionally do:

  1. Enables website visitors to engage with the business & project owner in a frictionless way, using a simple widget we call the yidget. When interacted with, the yidget expands into a larger real-time / async chat.
  2. Enables business owners to charge a fee (tx / subscription) for greater access — visitors could "unlock" more channels by upgrading their access or by invitation.
  3. Business owners can create, edit, and manage their community channels as well as access, based on free or paid tiers.

This is exactly what we're already doing right now with our existing community who participated in #yenCAMP, our business and community-building bootcamp:

And, some more specific time & money-saving ways that we're using our own platform:

  1. We can engage directly with our free and paid community members by providing value to them directly, every single day.
  2. We get mission-critical product feedback (while using the product!!) right inside our dedicated #issues and #feedback channels.
  3. We have team-only channels for operating our small startup, which saves us time (context-switching to yet-another app) and money (we don't have to pay per month, per user for Slack). Slack, as we all know, is a (terrible) system upon which to build community.
  4. We can direct message community members for more bespoke engagement, trouble-shooting, or for just shooting the shit! The end-result and goal is still the same: Value creation for our community and customers.

This is our "starting block" — this is our mvp.