For the last year I've been working on a project and have now got something up, but I am not sure what stage it really is at. Is it complete enough to be an MVP and can I use it to pursue funding to be able to keep going?
Here is a little bit about the concept...
The project is called Fleyver and is a recommendation and search engine for alcoholic drinks, with a unique approach to recording tasting experiences. http://www.fleyver.com
I have tried to create a simplified approach, that I am hoping will attract the market of alcohol consumers, who cannot find the vocabulary to describe their experience, as well as those who see it as a bit pretentious. Recommendations are based on other users experiences and their recommendations, but does not use a standard numerical system of x/5 or x/10 etc. We have a palate matching engine, which takes the users food preferences, such as smokey food, citrus, what would they choose on a menu, favourite non-alcoholic beverage. We create a strength factor on how closely users relate and use this as a weighting factor to recommend products. The user, when they taste a product, select whether or not they would recommend it.
To monetise the app, there is data analysis and retailers placing a link to their product pages. To attract the retailer, the pricing is dynamically calculate per product, not in bands of 250-1000 products they pay X, Too many retailers I believe are put off from some of the competitors because of this banded approach.
What I would like to ask the CFL community is at what stage do they think I am at?
At present this is the list of things that are working / functions:
-User can search for products by name or by ingredients in the product
-User can view a product and the limited data I have been able to gather, (there are no product images yet)
-The recommendation engine works and suggests products, where the data permits, most complete data is in the wines and gin at present.
-User can record tastings. -User has a profile page and can see how many people they are connected with (currently I have 100k dummy users for testing the recommendation engine and to show users how the app can work)
-Products can be edited and new products can be added including adding images, within the categories currently listed. (Beer, Wine, Gin, Whisky, Tequila and Mezcal, Rum, Sake, Grappa, Brandy, Vodka)
Things I am currently working on:
- Business registration and profile section
- Shop links page on products
- Implementing the data gathering and analysis, am a bit lost as to what data could be gathered
- Gathering product data from producers
- Need to develop the mobile app versions, mobile version is currently only browser based, but has a different interface.
Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and taking the time to take a look
I've spent some time on your site, and I LOVE IT! It's user-friendly and easy to use; very well coded. I see quite a few directions for monetizing. Congrats!
Here's some advice from Kevin Systrom - "No one in the US searches for 'cocktail recipes'. They all search for 'cocktail drinks'."
Don't spend a year optimizing for the wrong keywords like he did ;)
In all seriousness, I think you're focusing your effort in the wrong direction. Bright Cellars' has a seven question "quiz" that does the job.
I disagree with Ray. Quizzes are just data gathering tools. They do not speak to the effectiveness of the data science applied to the gathered data.
It's not the completeness of the product. As I understand it, you need to demonstrate two things to an investor:
1) You have found a definition of a product that get money somehow. The more the sooner with runaway effects, the better.
2) You have proven or can get confidence that you can build a product to that definition at a cost that is warranted by the revenue opportunity.
You've done the latter. The hard part, from an implementation perspective, is the data science. Everything else is CRUD.
Have you done the former? Is the product definition something that will generate money in a runaway way? How will you get users? What keeps them coming back? Do you have a mechanism to maximize your share of their liquor spend? What causes revenue growth to be runaway? (This is why everyone loves social networks.)
@Ray: No I've not come across BrightCellars, but looking at their site they are a wine club, which means they can only recommend what they are able to obtain through their distribution chain and I'm pretty sure, no offence meant if anyone from BrightCellars reads this, their portfolio is going to be limited and like the other wine and beer clubs who use a palate profile to categorise their users, the number of categories is limited due to product supply.
I'm looking at being a global engine similar to Vivino, but not just for wine and without a numerical scoring system.
@Alyssa I think I could answer them all. I'll start and put answers down. Would you say that if I can answer all of them with honest responses and are positive, I would be at the MVP stage?