Entrepreneurial Design final with Zach Klein. Spring 2010.

Build a minimal viable product and accompanying investor deck to pitch to local New York entrepreneurs, investors, and angels.

I built vicejar, a simple, easy to use, mobile utility that allows friends to charge friends for bad habits and shares progress among the group. Here is a simulation of vicejar in action:

If there’s one thing I will remember from what Zach Klein describes as his “religion of entrepreneurship” it is the concept of the MVP (minimal viable product) and the design process that it implies which is namely, build your vision with as few extra elements as possible and put it in front of people immediately. Innumerable other entrepreneurs are re-iterating this approach including Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare, who recently offered the advice, “stop sketching and start building” and Michael Karnjanaprakorn, founder of Skillshare, who lives by the similar idea of creating a minimal lovable product.

Zach described it to us succinctly this way:

“Break down the idea into its smallest parts and determine the part that is both most base and the most useful for people on day one — this is now commonly referred to as the Minimum Viable Product. Facebook didn’t start as a service to play Farmville, it was simply a way to indicate who your friends are. To demonstrate this, please visit this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachklein/5547249270. It shows Vimeo in its first week of existence, as simply a way to upload a video and see a list of the videos uploaded. No commenting, no friends, no embedding, no HD, no tags, no design!”

This was a refreshing encouragement to me after spending first semester in blue-sky idea land.

Here is the presentation I shared:

back to work