Mobile marketing · Consumer Products

To start development or finalize product first?

Eran Yasso

May 28th, 2016

Hi All,


I would like to consult you about weather me and my co-founders should start the product development or finalize the product.
Our product is based on mobileserver architecture. It requires mass of people to use it. It is based that many people
are using the app. if that is not happened, than the app is useless.

We had a Skype conference where we decided that before the development is start (the three of us are experienced developers)
we need to find some product manager which can help us understand if and how we can cause mass of people to download
and use our app.

I am not sure that this is the right decision.
I think that we can start the development and in parallel look for product manager.

I'd appreciate your insight.

Thanks,
Eran.

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Marc Schulman Educational Entrepreneur Reporter

May 28th, 2016

I am not sure I follow your logic, it's not a project manager you need its a business strategy that shows how you get enough people to download the App.  If the App requires large numbers of people to use to succeed, it precludes a soft launch, so if you do not have a good strategy to get large numbers to download, you are just wasting your time in developing the loan

Chicke Fitzgerald

May 29th, 2016

Your risk goes way up in building before validating.  I agree with others that you don't need a product manager, you need a strategy and an executable plan.  "Build it and they will come" rarely works.

Ashish Bhasin Client Executive (Director Sales and Business Development) at Aricent

May 29th, 2016

2 cents from my side.......

If you need testing ground, use resources who have enough time to test your concept and that too very cheap. Try to attach yourself with a university/school and you will get people logged to system (you will get word of mouth promotion free of charge in that region). You need to have some incentive plan for them. Recently got a similar use case where a company was actually paying for each download and usage of the application.

Regards,
Ashish

Gary Ballabio Product and Business Development Leader

June 4th, 2016

If the product is indeed 'useless' as you described it without a mass number of people using it (how much is a 'mass' number, btw?), I would think carefully about starting development on this version unless you have a way to get to that mass number in a short period of time. 

I'd agree that bringing in someone to help figure out if there's a way to go to market with a partner that helps you get to that number or if you should invest in a interim solution that is more usable to a smaller number of users until you hit the 'mass' number you're looking for. 

Probably requires some more context to provide a more thought out answer. 

Daniel Turner Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC

May 29th, 2016

Quick but vital reads: http://www.leancustomerdevelopment.com by Cindy Alvarez and http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920026242.do by Laura Klein. I want to reiterate and stress to the nth degree that first you need to answer the questions: "What problem does this solve? For whom? And how do we know this?" (Pro tip: the last one is probably the most important.)

Anonymous

May 29th, 2016

I understand all what you are saying.

Thank you for the response.

Joe Emison Chief Information Officer at Xceligent

May 30th, 2016

+1 for Cindy Alvarez's Lean Customer Development. Read it. Do it.

Everyone starts building too soon. Everyone starts trying to scale sales too soon.