By Alicia Liu (Participant, Founder Labs)
It all went down exactly a week before demo day.
4:00pm: our team was getting ready to present our progress taking part in Founder Labs to Dave McClure, of 500 Startups, and John Malloy, of Blue Run Ventures. We were 4 weeks in, with only 1 more week to go before final demo day before an audience of investors and advisors, and we were scrambling.
We had been exploring various ideas, everything from point-of-sale systems to social enterprise, and weren’t making much headway into any particular avenue. Although our team got on well, it was nonetheless difficult to build consensus and momentum behind one direction. With four team members, we were divesting our energy all over the place, instead of coming together and pulling in one direction.
Just one day before, we had decided to shift our attention back to a previously discarded idea around online dating. We had built a very minimal set of proof-of-concept screens for that idea two weeks ago and presented our findings to Steve Blank. But with no time to build upon our minimum viable product (MVP) to do further customer development and gather new feedback, we suddenly realized that one of the competitors we were researching already had 80% of the functionality we were planning to build into our MVP. So we quickly set up some tests on user testing on our competitor’s website, and also sent that website to a few people we were already doing customer development with, to try out.
5:30pm: We had our new customer feedback and started creating our slides.
6:00pm: Two team members walked in, mentioned that they could not connect with the new online dating idea and decided to leave the team to explore other ideas.
6:30pm: Now with half the team, we were really scrambling to finish up our slides, which we did while listening to the other teams present)
7:45pm: We got up in front of Dave McClure and John Malloy, and immediately build rapport with our team name, the HoneyBadgers. Dave got a kick out of our MVP slide, and tweeted it right away. See? This blog post wasn’t just a link-bait title. To see what we’re working towards, check out cupidlike.
This post was originally posted at Founder Labs’ blog.
Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Alicia Liu is a front-end web and iOS developer. She previously co-founded Benbria, an enterprise software start up that was ranked the 11th fastest growing emerging company in Canada by PROFIT magazine, where she led product management and marketing. She holds a BAsc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Alicia blogs on startups, web dev, travel, and eating. Follow her on Twitter at @aliciatweet.