The last week or so I have been busy building the first simple prototype of our upcoming app – a pre-MVP – for the MedTech startup, we’re working on getting off the ground. We will be getting it out there to get early feedback just after Christmas.
It is a daunting process.
Not only is it daunting to try to find the different pieces that when stitched together could form a somewhat crude but credible first go at what we will initially be trying to bring to market to create value for patients.
No, the most daunting part is that youre airing your idea(s) and inviting feedback from real potential users. And doing so full knowing that they can throw whatever they want in the form of feedback and criticism against you.
The prospects of getting feedback from people – or worse yet; hearing nothing at all because no-one will try it out – is so excruciating it can be a real challenge to push that ‘Publish’ button and get it out there.
But there is just no way around it;
If you never launch anything – not even a very crude, embarrasing prototype – you will by definition have failed completely.
So, reversely, by just getting something out there for people to provide feedback on is infinitely better and an infinitely greater step towards any kind of potential future success.
Currently, one of the things I am trying to do on our new MedTech venture is to build a roadmap of experiments to run before we get to the MVP itself.
Why am I doing that, you may want to ask?
Because I think it is super important to do whatever it takes to make sure that we can deliver some sort of tangible value from day 1 with our MVP. Nonetheless so because we’re in MedTech and because we’re dealing with a serious medical issue. We simply need to get it right.
But also because I think it makes overall sense as an approach. In fact I think it might even make better sense than to work on a more regular product roadmap at this stage.
Simply because at the stage we’re currently at there are so many unknowns and associated assumptions about where we might take this that the most robust roadmap, we can have, is the one articulating what we don’t know and thus need to find out more about.
But does that make it easier to do a roadmap of experiments than a more normal product roadmap?
After all there are a ton of different experiments, you can run at any given point in time, and the trick is to figure out – or at the very least have an idea – which ones are going to give you most bang for the buck at any given moment in time. And where you take it from there – depending on how the experiment goes.
It’s a super interesting exercise in doing a blueprint for your activities while trying to make sure that you get to that ultimate goal of the experiment series; feeling pretty confident – on a data based basis – what should go into the MVP and hopefully set you off on a good trajectory for startup success.
‘P.S. I Love You’ have been surrounded by a lot of controversy focusing on working with alternative, holistic thinking partners at odds with the foundations of the basic science, the foundation normally base everything they do on.
From that angle, closing the initiative down was a sure thing waiting to happen. And to be honest I don’t think many people will miss it now that it’s gone.
But there was another thing that puzzled me and says everything about why context is important, when you judge something:
Had ‘P.S. I Love You’ been a startup idea, we would perhaps by now be applauding it;
they launch with what they deem is a MVP,
they get the feedback,
they realize it’s not going to work,
and they sunset it.
Move fast and break stuff.
Fuck it, let’s ship it!
Turns out context is everything.
And again – as I have mentioned before:
When you are working with something related to peoples health and their medical condition(s) normal startup rules just don’t apply in the same way.