Inside the Startup
Piyush Jain @ Simpalm, App & Web Development Solutions
Nov 30, 2020
Tech Founders & Executives
Jain explains why and how to iteratively and incrementally build products that focus on customer value over viability.
- Value: Look at the “value” for your customer, not the “viability” of the MVP. For example, Instagram started with photo sharing to an entire platform.
- Design: Is crucial these days; if you have great features but not a functional and user friendly design, your product might not be successful.
- Learning: You need to constantly be learning and adapting, from the point you start with your MVP to building out the product; iterative and incremental building based on customer feedback, during the MVP and post-launch phases. Don’t be disheartened with setbacks — that’s what MVPs are intended for.
- 01:38 – Overview of Simpalm and Ducknowl. Simpalm started in 2009 from Jain’s basement; now a full-stack software development. Ducknowl, a SaaS product, built in-house, launched in 2019, started with the same cofounder as Simpalm. Very hectic to screen candidates for hiring, no digitized platform. We’re getting interest from small and large companies.
- 03:27 – What is an MVP? MVP should be Minimal “Value” (versus Viable) Product. Viability is something we (startups/founders) look for us (e.g. budget, timeline) but what gives value to the customer? For example, consider this: Zoom, Skype and others are all viable web meeting software but which gives you value? Try to deliver one or two minimal features that deliver value for customers.
- 05:55 – How big should an MVP be? It’s different for different companies, based on their size and stage but even for bigger projects, it shouldn’t be any more than six months. Get the product out there quickly to get customer feedback.
- 07:30 – How do you know you have an MVP? It’s when your users are able to interact with your product and see some value by using it (e.g. downloading an app, logging into a website). Then, you
- 08:45 – What did the MVP look like for DuckNOwl? We had a basic feature in mind for our MVP; i.e. resume sorting and parsing. Resume screening, sorting and reading, since it’s a big issue for hiring managers. We went to recruiters and they loved it. We also only knew they needed things like video screening for assessing applicants. We wanted a lot but started smaller.
- 09:59 – Did you talk to customers or your own problems that made you launch Ducknowl? It started with our own problems (e.g. software developers, project managers) and it was taking time. We decided to build a product that digitizes the whole process. We’ve also done staff augmentation for clients, so we spoke with their recruiters and they liked it. So, we had our own company and customers (user base) to get initial interest and to test with.
- 12:12 – How do you incorporate Lean Startup and Design Thinking best practices into MVP mindset? MVP is a core aspect of Lean Startup and Design Thinking is the first step. In the past, it was about code; nowadays, it’s more about design…something people will use. This is what we convey to our clients these days by educating them about the importance of design, using Design Thinking. You need wireframes and/or clickable designs. Create a focus group (e.g. customers) that can give you feedback.
- 15:25 – What tools do you use? There are several tools but the three main tools we use for designing and design testing: InVision, Sketch and Figma.
- 15:53 – How do you get stakeholders involved in MVP mindset? We ha