Q: If I can’t afford to hire in-house, what is the best approach to getting my tech product to the MVP stage and why?
Learn to prototype. “Leveraging tools like InVision, Fluid, or OmniGraffle, you can quickly create stylish, functional prototypes of your product. Use these to perform user experience testing with friends or potential customers. Then, learn to code enough to build part of your product yourself. These steps will not only get you to a well-thought-out MVP, but will also ensure you can speak tech and design when hiring.” Coy Yonce, Mantis Digital Arts
Look for a digital agency or freelancer. “You can develop an MVP with the right product help. Find a reliable and competent agency or freelancer to bring your idea to life. If you are building an application, remember that the UX (User Experience) is more valuable than a flashy design. A beautiful design might get more sign-ups, but if it doesn’t function well or it is confusing you won’t get the repeat users that are crucial for success.” John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.
Learn to code. “Not only will it make you more credible but it will pay dividends in the long run. This will not be the last time you’ll be strapped for technical resources. Learning to code not only will save you time and money, but will also help mitigate future roadblocks. Rather than relying on someone else to move your product to the next level, you’ll be able to get your hands dirty and get the ball rolling.” Nate Andorsky, Creative Science Labs
Tap into your resources. “If you have a design or product development background, using something like UX Pin or InVision could help you develop a usable and affordable prototype. If you’re not savvy with design or code, create an outline of your product and hand it off to a tech consultant. They can help spec the project and guide you to the proper resources needed to execute the MVP.” Jeff Gapinski, Huemor
Create an industry expert whitepaper. “Never underestimate the power of press and people’s egos. Combine the two and you can get a ton of free exposure. Contact 100 experts within your industry and ask them each their best advice for growing a business. Take all of the data collected and compile a whitepaper, which you can then give away for free. Brand it with your logo and collect emails.” Zac Johnson, Blogging.org
Hire freelancers. “Before hiring any freelancer, you’ll want to construct a set of definitive tasks, define any personal requirements, and determine the price you are willing to pay. Outsourcing work to freelancers is extremely efficient in both time and cost and can help get your product to the MVP stage quickly.” Antonio Calabrese, Boonle