Tech Founders need to rethink about MVP.
Reconsidering your next MVP might save both cost and time before it's too late.
Here comes the story, I was too focused on building a product for iSendMoney which aims to fill the gap in international remittance services. At the same time, I was pitching to many VCs, Angel Investors, and last but not least my family and friends. Until I met an amazing VC-Connector from Silicon Valley with whom I had a 30-minute meeting. The deck was awesome as he mentioned, the problem iSendMoney was trying to solve was amazing but then he pointed
"Hey Lex, you actually should stop building a product. Eventually, no one's gonna sign up to your product magically and focus strictly on building a real MVP, a brand".
I was stunned cause what I knew of MVP was a market-ready product where users sign up and use iSendMoney's product. Then I realized the meaning of the words he said. I was a technical founder of a blockchain-based product named Playpoint, a predict-to-earn platform. The product was amazing, tech was edged cause blockchain, and Defi was on the hype but the truth was we hardly gained 1000 real-time users. A great product built by me and the team, a vision by an international businessman with a talented marketing head still failed.
Why did such an amazing product fail?
As I was aware simple, not-so-impactful products like the ERC20 Token Generator were generating 100 thousands of dollars in revenue. A simple thing, cause they made a brand before releasing their actual product, and they were backed by well-known companies like Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, YC, etc. Trust is what gained the users for that simple product and not for Playpoint.
Would you trust a fintech product from the World Bank or would you trust a product from a small private bank from XYZ country?
I know you already have the answer in your mind. But that doesn't mean every product must be backed by a well-known company or any person, that's an exception.
Don't exaggerate by showing off the numbers and giving it much time saying "XYZ product might have this much of users by ABC years". Professional investors are well aware of the trending markets with more detailed numbered instructions than you are showing but that doesn't mean completely excluded from your deck, just give a little time for that and give more time to forming partnerships, look for people that do the job that you need to do rather than scratching your forehead and doing everything by your own.
I know everything, it's just people that are lame.
Believe me or not, all tech founders think they know it all, I did. But you're living in an oblivion. You need a solid co-founder who cares and believes in solving the problem that you're trying to solve.
Talk to people, know your actual customers and by that time you'll know the ins and outs, possibilities, and viability of your solution. Trade your solution, generate actual money from actual people not just projected vision on your traction plan. If it worked, voila keep doing business and start to make products aside. If it didn't work out, it's fine you saved your precious time and cost on building an imaginary unicorn rather than being frustrated with credits roaming around your head.
This is my vision, I need to be the CEO.
Everyone wants to be like Mark Zuckerberg with a business card on which it says "Bitch, I'm the CEO!". Sounds amazing right? The fact is, you might be a perfect fit but often you may lack the skills for the ideal CEO. How good is your leadership and communication skills? How good is your knowledge of the market? Can you handle the uninvited situations? I can keep going with a lot of questions. Discuss with your founding team, that I don't mind being the tech lead with the highest percentage of share ownership. After all, it was about solving a problem and serving people. No matter who does it, if they can do it better.
MVP should at least include XYZ features.
A big slap no, MVP stands for a minimal viable product. If it serves the purpose no extra features are required. You don't need amazing UI with extra analytical features and all. I made a lot of mistakes in the past, I started Zetsy, The Boring School, and Jcka Labs, and I was the co-founder of CodewithSudeep as well. All of those projects with the purpose but exaggerated features led to failure but nothing more. I was about to do the same for iSendMoney till I met that VC-Connector guy from Silicon Valley. Sleepless nights making web, and mobile applications, handling servers, domains, etc. I'd be dead broken after all this hardship if it failed.
If you still insist on doing the things that you shouldn't be doing, that's fine. You need to gain broad experience in entrepreneurship.
You fail, you rise, you fail again, and finally be wise enough.
Last but not least important thing is don't hesitate to share your idea, no one's going to copy and build an empire out of it. And, make sure it's entrepreneurship and not just a confused young blood with dedication, time is precious. You eat mud, you get slammed, and at worst you feel like quitting.