Our organization, Live for Good, supports young and positive entrepreneurs towards the development of their social business project.
For many of our entrepreneurs making a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a key step in their development. A while back, Le Reacteur, a coding boot-camp, gave them the opportunity to cross that golden line between the startups who have their MVP and those who don’t.
Two of our entrepreneurs were selected by Le Reacteur to get their MVP done by their students:
- Justine from “Le Franc Manger”. The objective of her app is to give you the opportunity to discover local producers around you. They are also offering workshop for schoolsand companies to promote sustainable food.
- Stéphanie from “Res&Co”. Her project goal is to make it possible for restaurants to reduce their waste by serving surprise menus and offer them to people at a discounted price.
The deal with Le Reacteur was a win-win situation for everyone. The students’ of Le Reacteur were given the opportunity to work on a real project with a real entrepreneur. They were be able to focus on coding and on learning the soft skills that comes along with working on a project. To allow them to get the most of this incredible opportunity, at Live for Good, we dedicated a workshop to prepare them on a few points :
- What’s a MVP ?
- A few UX/UI tips
- How to create the mock-up of a product ?
After two weeks of development, and using some cutting-edge technologies such as React Native (for the Front End), Expo, Cloudinary (to store pictures), Heroku (to deploy the back end) or MongoDB, two of our entrepreneurs had their MVP.
For them, the conclusion was highly positive, it was a great experience. They appreciated working with the team. The key lessons they learned are the following .
LESSON #1: Your MVP is never minimum enough
When you are an entrepreneur and you have to do your mock-up on your own (it’s not that hard, but optimizing the user experience is the real tricky part), you kind of live in a bubble. Even if people give you great feedback, it’s really hard to stay at the skateboard level. So, the advice they wanted to give to the next generation of entrepreneurs was : make the mock-up of your final product, the one that makes you wake up of everyday and then, cut down features, erase buttons and links between screens. Think of it as a two options choice, do you want some thing simple but perfect that show your potential or something more complex, but incomplete ?
LESSON #2: when planning, don’t think only about the visual part
- When deciding on the scope of your MVP, instinctively, you are going to think about the development time that is allowed to you or you can afford. Measuring development time is hard. From a non-developer perspective, it seems easy and quick to develop an app but spoiler alert here, it’s not. And, there is the two “behind the scene” you are going to forget to add up in your hours count. The first one is, the Back Office. It’s vital for your app or website, and it’s going to “cost” development time. The second one is the Back End. There is no magic in development, everything has to be developed to make your app works. For example, when you see an image on an app, what you don’t see is the uploader in the back office that triggers a route in the back end to send the image to a third-party service that is going to store the image.
LESSON#3: MVP is an incredible opportunity to test and learn
As the entrepreneur planet grows, our two entrepreneurs clearly notice that it made a difference when they are presenting their product or pitching an investor. This MVP gave them credibility as it showed the commitment they have to their project.
At Live for Good, we were really thankfull for the opportunity given to our two entrepreneurs and we are looking forward to work again with the students of Le Reacteur.
Founded by Jean-Philippe Courtois and his family, Live for Good is an organization dedicated to unleash the capability of young people thanks to social entrepreneurship and to accelerate positive innovation.