MVP Development · Product Development

I have my MVP and received great feedback from the community on it! I don't have the skills or money to move forward. What do I do?

Shane Arcuri

Last updated on September 19th, 2017

Hi All,


So, I'm creating software for cryptocurrency mining that will enhance the mining experience and help miners increase their efficiency and profits. I have released the "Alpha"/MVP to the community (~5,500 subscribers) and received some great feedback on it! I'm ready to expand the features and turn it into a real product, but my programming skills have taken me as far as I can get and I don't have the money to hire someone to help take it further.


The revenue model is a % of the amount of cryptocurrency mined, so it doesn't allow for preorders. I only generate revenue if I have users using it.


I'm in Southern California and stumped on how I can make this work. I've tried reaching out to my "programmer friends" but they all say they're too busy or just have no interest in it. Any ideas on how to move forward?


Thank you!


- Shane

Amandeep Bathla Serial Entrepreneur looking for go-to-market consulting

Last updated on September 20th, 2017

I faced a similar situation couple of years back and decided to take matters in my own hand rather than look ahead to crowdsourcing platforms or even close friends. I took courses in UX Design (from https://www.interaction-design.org), as well as improved my programming skills (I was a programmer back when I started). Now I work as a tech and design consultant for a tech company in my vicinity. Most of what I earn from my consulting goes into the product I am building. As a startup founder, I would rather bet on my own abilities than chase money outside. Hope that helps! Let me know if you need further guidance. I will be glad to share my contact details.

Parvez Husein Co-founder and CTO @ Portable Office Company. Exited.

September 20th, 2017

Hi Shane,

I'm going to come at this from a different angle. Firstly, well done on getting this far. Your product sounds quite clever. And you have 5500 subscribers. So i disagree, you've probably got a real product and just don't know it.

I think a lot of people mistake what an MVP is. An MVP is not just the product, but also must include fundamental parts of your wider business model. Otherwise all that happens is that you end up being a solution looking for a problem. Your adding of features isn't going to help. You have to figure out how you can generate revenue with what you've currently got.

So for example, if your revenue model is a % of some kind, from target customers who are miners of say bitcoin in the US, between the ages of 25-35. And your channel to market is the web, then part of your MVP must include a website that attracts your target customer to it and paying.

You say you have 5500 subscribers. Start there. Why are they not using and consequently paying you for what you've already built. If you can't answer that question with those users then i suspect that no amount of additional features by another programmer will change that. If they are asking for additional features before paying then, you don't have an MVP. There are 5500 subscribers, that is a community. If you have created a painkiller and not a vitamin, and that community has bought into your vision, then i'm convinced you should be able to go back to that "well". Figure out which ones of those will pay for using your product. Carefully analyse why your product is important to them, what problem you solve for them, and who they are. Your assumptions about the answer to those questions may well be different from theirs. Their opinion is what matters. Adapt your target customer persona based on that and then use your channel to market to find more of those. As more and more pay you, and you can afford it, add the features that expands your target customer set.

If this sounds like a long a$$ process then you'd be right. The grind is necessary in creating a long lasting sustainable business.

Hope that helps you look at the problem differently ... good luck :-)


Alex H Always tinkering, always building.

Last updated on October 19th, 2017

I'm a little unclear on the status of what you've built - is this community you speak of a community specific to your product? Or is this community a forum/discord/telegram/group/etc. that you've told about the product?


If your product does in fact have 5,500 subscribers, then the next question is one of what they're effectively paying, or what the mining is paying out. You've said you generate revenue if people are using your product, and if people are indeed using it, then I wonder what your revenue is - having even a bit of money to offer someone can lend leverage when looking for help.


As far as finding someone to help you, I'm inclined to suggest that you hustle the old fashioned way, reach out to as many people as you can. If you have over 5,000 people interested in and/or subscribed to your service, you've clearly built something with some value. And seeing as it has to do with mining, which is not something your average person is even approaching, the community around the product must be fairly technical. Not to mention that there's a higher incidence of technical people interested in crypto.


So, maybe reach out to people who have shown interest in your product, and who already know its value. Reach out on reddit, where I've seen a ton of technically adept people pop up (I know there are mining specific subreddits). Reach out on crypto telegram/slack/discord/rocket chat channels, especially in those of specific currencies with active user bases. Another good place to look might be Steemit. I've chatted with a number of people on there who have experience with mining and software. And last but not least, look around here much as you can!

Philip Hignigh Principle software engineer, passionate about changing the way software is created

September 22nd, 2017

If you're interested in recruiting developers, I would suggest you include the type of development for the existing components and the components yet to be implemented (web/back-end/embedded) and what languages/frameworks (Java, C, etc) you are using along with some kind of pitch. What do you see as the earning potential for the product and why? Why should a developer spend his/her weekends helping you? If you've pitched the idea to programmer friends, post that same info here.

Ilya Lipovich Angel Investor/Operations leader

October 16th, 2017

Shane.


It's a usual situation entrepreneurs find themselves in. You have a few options:


1. Get VC funding to get you to the next level. Funds will likely be used for development and then marketing

2. If you can't hire local S. Cali talent you can defer to companies with local management and offshore dev resources. With this option you will save more than half and likely get similar results as in house resources


If you go with option 2, you will likely be able to get your beta users feedback in and have a product which you can then present to VC's from option 1. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss... i am SF based and run a software dev company with partial specialization in crypto and blockchain. ilya.lipovich@getcider.com or www.getcider.com



Hugh Proctor Hard working, dedicated and innovative CEO / CTO

October 15th, 2017

Hey Shane,

I was curious to follow up on your progress, I'm sure we all are.

Are you really in need of some great programmers?

I, LayrCake offers a solution that automates the bulk of the software that you'd need to develop, minus your business logic, this maybe of some assistance to move you forward without the huge 'programmer' overhead.


Otherwise, would love to find out how you're doing.

- Hugh

HANSON, Barry Ever Ready To Learn, Grow and Add Value!

September 24th, 2017

Hi Shane, well done on your early wins!


No BS, this is a TOUGH niche but, if you have the right concept, code and skin in the game then deeper understanding of the market demands could uncover some gold - excuse the competitive pun.


Ok, flick me all the details you have on your platform, a business plan and a dummy account so my developers can see what you're doing.


Thereafter, we will get back to you with 7 days with our recommendations,


Cheers

Hanson

Climb Lean Climb Lean School of Starting Up

Last updated on October 17th, 2017

Go Airbnb way of “Pure, Unadulterated Hustle” in the face of initial resistance.


You must have heard this story of Airbnb's Hustle. As they were starting out in the summer of 2008, the founders needed a way to raise money. They bought a ton of cereal and designed special edition election-themed boxes, released that fall—Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s, which they sold at convention parties for $40 a box. They sold 500 boxes of each cereal, helping them to raise around $30k for Airbed & Breakfast.


Crowdfunding and raising money from investors could be an option, but it would take your focus away substantially and also it might take a while before you have money raised.


A calculated hustle project could put you in more control of raising your funds in this situation.


This approach also has an added advantage the way it was for Airbnb - this kind of hustle impresses investors, when the opportunity arrives.

Anthony Vaught Managing founder @ Comma LLC

September 19th, 2017

Can you pm me with some details, interested in this as well and might be able to help.

Talha Mehmood Ruby on Rails Web App Developer

September 20th, 2017

Congrats on receiving such a response. There's still a lot to discover in crypto-currency. I'd suggest you to not to take any investors in, but focus on your friends/relatives/etc(technical person). If this doesnt work-out you can hire contractors on Platforms like Upwork to make it stable. You can find developers with inexpensive costs their. Have a look at this interview on indie-hackers: Vacayrx