Hey guys, we’re actually doing it… we need to build a HARDWARE MVP in two weeks. Follow us to get an inside look into how the hell you can build hardware in two weeks
At some point when developing any product you need to gather a lot of data.. ALOT… Not just for you to use if you’re developing something that relies on it, but also on your customers. The feedback you get is so crucial that it can make or break your company. I’ve never understood the idea of a heads down, we’ll get there when we get there approach. Having an infinite runway can often mean you’ll never get to market.
But first let’s get this out of the way, there are wrong approaches to user testing. Luckily for us, it’s perfectly captured in Silicon Valley. In “To Build a Better Beta” and “Daily Active Users” the group goes through the process of testing the platform with friends and other engineers. Mind you any kind of testing is helpful, but this biased group is problematic. Believing these results are relevant for launch is a downright lie … to yourself and your stake holders. Let’s see what happens with an unbiased group
To do any form of user testing you will need something to show, in this case an MVP (Minimum Viable Product, if you haven’t read Lean Startup, do it.. now). While there are difficulties to launching both hardware and software MVPs. Hardware MVPs tend to require a bit more planning and “finesse.” Mostly because a lot of the things you can take for granted in software like fudging with UI/UX can become tedious, expensive, and down right impossible with certain hardware.
For example if you want to build an MVP in TWO WEEKS!!!! You’d be hard pressed to design a circuit, print and assemble custom PCBs, and then still make an enclosure that’s appealing to a user. And on top of all that, to go along with the video clip above, you need to design the MVP and the experiment for the MVP to collect the data that you actually NEED.
We’ve got an MVP due in 2 weeks and we need to have this interface with people who presumably (an absolute certainty today) will not use it unless they can interact with it .. in other words we have to worry about our own daily active users. If they won’t use the MVP, we can’t get the data we need to develop our algorithms, the UI on the product, and the software holding everything together. On the plus side, we will get the user feedback that our hardware interface sucks… I guess that’s the silver lining.
Stay tuned… next we’ll have to pick out hardware and build things….