What Defines a Minimum Viable Product | Ade Olonoh
How do you define an MVP, or minimum viable product? Whatever your definition, one thing is for sure. It is not about perfection. But where do you draw the line? Our latest guest has a pretty good idea, because he has created a lot and spends a lot of time with the creations of others.
We talked with Ade Olonoh, an investor and entrepreneur who has founded numerous companies, including Formstack, Formspring, and Jell, and has invested in a dozen start-ups. All of these experiences have given Ade a unique perspective when meeting with other entrepreneurs who are in some stage of creating their own MVP.
So what does a minimum viable product actually look like? And why does having a co-founder who can bring a vision to life in the form of a product so important for young entrepreneurs seeking investment capital? Listen in to hear Ade’s insights on what it takes to translate a great idea into a great product.
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Christian Beck: In the same way that you wouldn't start a restaurant without somebody who knows how to cook. Like if your core product is around a particular output or delivery and you don't have anybody internally who can do that, that's really going to hurt you as an entrepreneur in several different ways.
Anna Eaglin: This product...
Christian Beck: Are we recording?
Anna Eaglin: Oh my God... Better Product, the only show that takes a behind the scenes look into how digital products are created...
Christian Beck: The businesses built around them, and how you too, can innovate a better product. I'm Christian...
Anna Eaglin: I'm Anna.
Christian Beck: Welcome to today's show.
Anna Eaglin: How do you define an MVP or a minimum viable product? Whatever your definition. One thing is for sure, it's not about perfection. And where do you draw the line? Today's guest has a pretty good idea, because he's created a lot and spends a lot of time with the creations of others.
Christian Beck: Ade Olonoh is an investor entrepreneur who has founded numerous companies, including Formstack, Formspring, and Jell and has invested in a dozen startups. Ade has done a lot, and it all started when he fell in love with coding back in high school.
Ade Olonoh: The short story is, I really wanted to take a weight training class in high school and it was full and my counselor said I had to take an elective, any elective. And the one that I stumbled into was this class called, computer math.
Christian Beck: So from weightlifting to computer math.
Ade Olonoh: Right.
Christian Beck: It's quite the same.
Anna Eaglin: Naturally.
Ade Olonoh: I don't know why it was called computer math, it was just really a coding class, but fell in love with coding really for the first time, and just started as a kind of geeky high school student. Started coding all the time, would write apps for my girlfriend and stuff like that. And then I sold my first software program as a senior in high school for 50 bucks to the high school baseball coach. And that just kind of set me off on my career.
Christian Beck: It sounds like missing out on that weight lifting class was worth it.
Anna Eaglin: See, I told you it was okay to take a break from the gym every now and then.
Christian Beck: That early entrepreneurial spirit only grew for Ade. After paying his way through college with freelance work, Ade was ready to start something for himself. Little did he know that he would be starting a lot of things.
Ade Olonoh: I actually never interviewed anywhere. I just said, "I've been paying my own way for the last four years, so I might as well to start a company," and pulled in handful of friends that were also in computer science with me, and one that was studying business, but was in IT that we'd worked with before. And so we started a company right out of school and basically fast forward, to the next 20 years essentially, creating products and companies and stuff like that.
Anna Eaglin: But those early days weren't so easy. After a few years of scraping by with various projects that didn't catch on as he expected, Ade decided that maybe it was time to get a real job. But for people like Ade, leaving a life of creativity and innovation behind was never going to stick.
Ade Olonoh: After a couple of years, my co-founder and I kind of looked at each other and said, "We've been making less than minimum wage, like we should probably go find a real job for a while," so, we went and did that. And then I just knew I wanted to start something new again. And so in 2006 I quit my job then, which I was in IT at Gannett via the Indianapolis Star, I quit my job and started Formstack.
Christian Beck: Formstack was Ade's first big success, but it wasn't long before he had another idea, Formspring. Which of course, also caught on quickly but with some unexpected results.
Ade Olonoh: But essentially, it started as a side project. It was a social network, a social Q&A service, and went from launch to a million users in less than 45 days. Quite literally, was about to bankrupt Formstack, the nice bootstraps, profitable SAS company. And so ended up splitting those companies into two, raised a bunch of money from investors for the social network, and ended up moving out to the bay area. And at that point brought in a CEO into Formstack, and it happened to be my co-founder from the company that we started in college, and he's still running Formstack to this day.
Anna Eaglin: It was during this time that Ade's knack for prolific creativity became clear. From 2009 to 2017, Ade grew and sold Formspring, learned some new skills, and launched a few other projects, before eventually, stepping back from his roles at Formstack and Jell to focus on investing.
Christian Beck: And all of this gives Ade a unique perspective when meeting with other entrepreneurs who are in some stage of creating their own MVP. Ade has done it time and again, to varying degrees of success, learning what it takes to translate a great idea into a great product in the process. Today, we'll hear him talk about what he looks for when investing in a company, and why having a co-founder who can actually bring the vision to life in the form of a product is so important.
Anna Eaglin: Determining what that first thing is you put into the world. How do you determine what that is and how do you know... I think a lot of people really struggle with the scope of an MVP and I think it's a lot more common these days, people go and just get something out there and see how it does. But do you have any kind of philosophy that's guided you? Or anytime you feel like you even maybe went wrong when it came to thinking about what an MVP should be?
Ade Olonoh: Yeah, that's a really good question. I don't have strict rules or guidelines around, here's the framework for exactly...
Anna Eaglin: You don't have the secret you could share with us.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah. There's no secret.
Christian Beck: Bummer.
Anna Eaglin: Yeah.
Christian Beck: That's what we're hoping to get.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah. If there's one secret I'll say, I talked through my history very briefly, I've built far more products that nobody's ever seen, than people have. There've been products that my wife hasn't even seen. I just tinker around with it, get it to a state, and then through that process, really realize, "This isn't really coming together the way I want. This isn't really solving the problem that I think I want." And so if there's any secret, it's be prolific rather than try to find perfection in each. And I guess I think of it in some ways as, building software, there's an art to it, and I'm probably more of an artist than a businessman. All things considered, I'm a mixture of both. But if you think about a painter, or a writer, or a musician, they create a lot. And I think so for software teams and for entrepreneurs, part of it is just identify problems and tinker around with it and play a little bit, create a number of MVPs and don't fall in love necessarily with any particular problem or more importantly, any particular solution.
Anna Eaglin: You mentioned that one of kind of the ways that you know you have a good MVP is when like it feels good and you're excited about it, it makes you happy. How did it feel to launch that Formstack MVP into the world?
Ade Olonoh: I guess I shouldn't say that it's always that simple, that it's binary, where you're happy or you're disappointed. The life of entrepreneurs, just kind of a mix of extreme emotions all at the same time. So I sent it to some people for feedback. One of the people I sent it to, a good friend of mine, just tore into it, criticized all sorts of problems with it, the user interface and all this stuff. And so that hit me pretty hard, but then I just dusted myself off I guess, and then for the next day or two, re-wrote a big piece of it and was grateful for the feedback.
Ade Olonoh: And then launched it into the wild and I'd say the primary reaction I got, which is typical, is indifference. Most people don't care that some engineer on the internet launched something new. But then, I don't remember exactly the timing of it, but my first paying user was somebody who started paying five bucks a month, I had never met her, had no idea, I forget her name. It wasn't somebody in my network, just took out her credit card and paid for the service. And I got the email saying somebody signed up, and that felt awesome. That was incredible. And so that started to validate, just seeing people use it and seeing people get value, certainly kind of helped with the validation of that.
Christian Beck: So now you are on the other side and you're investing in these new Ade's that are coming to you now, forming their own story, that you did a decade ago. You are a technical person yourself, so you're able to build these MVPs initially, but a lot of stuff that we've been seeing is, is more founders that are non-technical. So they come as I guess a traditional entrepreneur would, with a business idea and maybe some savviness or expertise in things that are not actually building product themselves. So I'm curious how your background affects how you advise these new types of entrepreneurs that are not technical themselves.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah. Well, the first thing I'd say is, I have not invested yet in a software company without a technical co-founder. And I just think that's critical. If you're going to build a software company, you should have some background in software. You should have somebody who can write software, even if they're not necessarily, maybe it's not a founder, it's a member of the founding team.
Christian Beck: Why is that important?
Ade Olonoh: Well, I just think, simply... There are a ton of reasons. I think broadly, it just doesn't make sense to me in the same way in that, you wouldn't start a restaurant without somebody who knows how to cook. Like if your core product is around a particular output or delivery and you don't have anybody internally who can do that, that's really going to hurt you as an entrepreneur in several different ways.
Ade Olonoh: First of all, if you're outsourcing development, you're just going to spend way too much money. As an investor, I don't like the idea of writing a check and that check just going to some consulting firm. That check should be invested into the business. And quite simply founders will... Or even just hiring somebody full time, it'll be cheaper to hire a full time engineer than it will be to hire a outsourced dev shop. And so just the economics of it.
Ade Olonoh: The second thing, which is probably most critical is, your feedback loops are going to be way too long. I think it's really important, even as I talk about MVPs and just my own experience with it, part of the value I got was I was able to take feedback from the market, take feedback from other sources, and then incorporate that into the product same day, next day, and experiment with something and see if it worked.
Ade Olonoh: That cycle, when you're working with an outsource dev shop for pre-launch, your first product, your MVP, to see if this will even work, instead of delivering something in weeks, it's going to take months. Even the fastest dev shop is going to have some layer of management, some sort of internal, resource allocation and scheduling and all that stuff. So even if they ship your MVP, as soon as you get feedback from the market that says, "No, this sucks. What if you add this feature, take out this feature or fix these bugs?" You're going to have to get back on that dev shop's schedule and your feedback loops are going to be too long. And so I think it's important.
Ade Olonoh: What advantages do startups have against established corporations? And there's really two things, they can move faster and they can do things cheaper. And so you're just taking out two of your biggest competitive advantages by not having somebody internally who knows how to code.
Ade Olonoh: The other thing, and I could talk about this for a long time, the other thing I think is just, what I tend to see is that if somebody comes from a non-software background, they may be experts in the particular problem they're trying to solve, but they sometimes struggle in really understanding what's feasible from a software standpoint and then what's the right angle even like to create something quickly that creates value for the end user, or the end customer to solve that problem.
Anna Eaglin: It sounds like what you're saying kind of going back to our previous MVP conversation, that people who are non-technical are really challenged by the idea of an MVP. Has that been your experience?
Ade Olonoh: Yeah. I think all of us are challenged by the idea of an MVP, and I should caveat to say too, that there's a lot of nuance here too because the things that I've... So with Formstack, it was a pretty quick MVP, Formspring, same thing as well. I built that in about two weeks before launching. But the reality is, certain types of products may take a really long time to build a viable product. And so you may have to build a lot of products within a particular space, just because the space is crowded or because it's a extremely complex problem. So I don't want to kind of, I guess, give the idea that all all MVPs should be in sweet and simple, and clearly there's sectors like in medicine or whatever, where you have to spend years of research and development before you build a product. So yeah, I don't want to understate that.
Ade Olonoh: But I would say, yeah, everybody's challenged. Especially non-technical founders tend to be challenged because if you haven't worked in software, it's hard to find that right line. And you're probably also rarely the type of person who's used a ton of MVPs, as well. I think that's another kind of skill set that's helpful is, whether you're technical or not, to spend a lot of time whether it's product hunt or wherever new things are launched, and play with a lot of new things to understand and even just ask yourself, "Okay. Why did they add this feature or not? What is making this work, even though it doesn't have some major features?" Or the other way around, "Why is this not working, even though they've built a bunch of features?" And I think developing that skill set is, is useful even as a consumer before you build MVPs.
Christian Beck: I'd like to understand a little bit about maybe more what you mean by a non-technical co-founder, and what your advice is. So lets imagine that Anna and I had a startup idea. We're non-technical, I don't think. I've coded things in the past, but I don't think we would code. I think Anna-
Anna Eaglin: Unless we're building it in Flash, I don't think you're going to code.
Christian Beck: Yeah. Flash comes back. I forgot about that. I can still do some action script, I'm still dangerous in that, for whatever that's worth.
Ade Olonoh: [crosstalk 00:14:19]-
Christian Beck: That's the downside of hitching your wagon to the wrong horse by the way. So if Anna's sort of the PM and helps like scope and does validation on the idea that we have, we can at least say, "Okay, this idea has got some merit and we've done this research and some validation," and then my skill set, I could design it, so I could design mockups and prototypes, and we come to you for investment. It sounds like you'd say, "Well, 'til you guys have a technical co-founder, I'm probably not interested in this idea." So what would your advice be to... We know some developers, but assuming that we didn't know any, what would your advice be to a team like that?
Ade Olonoh: Yeah, I'd say to start, the scenario described is a lot farther along than most, "Non-technical" teams that seek investments.
Christian Beck: Ooh, that's nice. We're actually farther along in this hypothetical.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah.
Anna Eaglin: Watch out world.
Ade Olonoh: Right.
Christian Beck: Just need an idea now.
Anna Eaglin: Update your browser, because Flash is coming.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah. And I don't stereotype anyone or whatever, but yeah, if you have background in product and design, you're much farther along and understand... And if you break down some of the things I'm saying, my assumption is, you understand product, you understand how products are built, you study products not just use products as a casual consumer, but you've studied products. And even by putting together mockups, you have a clear sense of what needs to be built. And even with those mockups, presumably you're getting feedback from people and tweaking them and iterating. So you're building, even if it's not a fully functional software product.
Ade Olonoh: I still would say, in that hypothetical, that it makes a lot of sense to bring on a developer onto the team. Again, even if you don't call him or her a co-founder, so to speak, to bring somebody on rather than outsourcing, and kind of shift the development. Just help things move quicker and tighten those feedback loops. But yeah, in general, that's a much different scenario than say like, two MBAs who have background in something completely unrelated to technology and software trying to build an app.
Christian Beck: I think what you're saying makes a lot of sense. I think it helps understand what you kind of mean by non-technical, and I think breaking down why having you know development that close makes a lot of sense, as well.
Ade Olonoh: I'll also say too, just as an investor, back to the investors like to invest in things that are working. And one of the things that, even the context of this is, I tell a lot of entrepreneurs, just don't worry about investors, don't worry about... Build something and see... Build the business. And fundamentally the business, if it's a software business is, building software and delivering it to potential customers and users. And so that that's the heart of the definition of MVP, and that's the heart of, I don't know, what we're doing. And so I think it's important.
Ade Olonoh: I think a lot of times people are putting the cart before the horse. And that's I guess part of the reason why I don't like investing in non-technical teams or teams without somebody technical, because more often that's a trap that I see. They're trying to sell the world on a brilliant idea, rather than just build something. Investors don't really have any great secret sauce to understanding what's going to work or not. The secret is, you just have to launch something and see if it works.
Christian Beck: It seems like even if Anna and I, in this hypothetical scenario, we're building a killer Flash app, that people are going to use. You can use the Shockwave player, if anybody remembers that, that plug in you always used to have. So if we're going to build it and we had a technical co-founder and came and it had no customers, it seems like your advice would probably be, "Go back and just focus on the product, and get people using and buying it, and then talk to me." Is that fair to say?
Ade Olonoh: Yeah, 100%. Well probably, if I loved the idea for whatever reason, I'd probably want to continue the conversation, but I'd still say fundamentally, "Go build the business, build the product." I do think as an entrepreneur and now as an investor, just my experience is, the farther along you are in proving out the business, the easier it's going to be raising money, if that's on your roadmap for the company. Just because one, you'll be able to convince more people that this is really going to be big because you can show them real data of people using it and loving it. And that's going to make your job a ton easier talking to investors, you'll get better terms, you'll dilute yourself less, all of those things will go easier. So yeah, the longer you can wait without talking to investors, and maybe never talk to investors.
Ade Olonoh: Some of the best recent success stories like at [Lassion 00:00:18:44], they didn't raise money for, I don't know. What? 10 years or something like that, and even then it was just kind of a pre-IPO growth round where they took some money off the table. Like that scenario is way better for those entrepreneurs, than people who raise a ton of money before even getting something off the ground.
Christian Beck: And I'd love to understand from your experience and what you see as... Again, going back to Anna and I's a Flash app that we're building, so we've got some traction. How do you advise startups to grow that in sort of sustainable ways, or without spending a lot of money on sales and marketing? I think that's typically the value prop of product led growth. So what does that look like to you?
Ade Olonoh: Yeah, so I think the core of product led growth is, I guess as you said, can this grow organically, essentially without you finding, without you pushing the product through sales channels? And my experience has all been, I guess product led growth, before it was called that. Partially because I suck at sales, I don't enjoy sales. And even when I was building Formstack, my goal was to figure out how I could build an engine so that I made money while I slept, and had to pick up the phone as little as possible to convince people to use the product. And so the way I talk to other entrepreneurs about it and the way I see it is, "Are you building a product that has some fundamental viral components to using the product?" And the word vitality gets thrown around a lot and it means different things to different people, but essentially what I mean by that is, just by nature of using the product in the way it was intended, you are sharing the brand of the product with hundreds or thousands of people on a weekly or monthly basis.
Ade Olonoh: And so just a few examples quickly. If you think about Formstack, if I create a Formstack account and create a form, I'm embedding that form on my website, or I'm sending out a link to that form into my email lists and I'm doing that on a repeated basis. I'm not doing that because I'm saying, "Hey, Formstack's a great company, I'm going to share this product." I'm just using the product and almost accidentally, just by nature of what I want to do is, I built this form and I want as many people you know, in my constituency or list to see it and fill it up. Same thing with send out a newsletter with MailChimp, you share a file with Dropbox, you send somebody a Zoom link to do a call. Those are all ways that you're fundamentally using the product and then sharing that with somebody else.
Ade Olonoh: And so I think the, the companies that work best, and I'm narrowing this to kind of B to B SAS, because that tends to be where the term product led growth is used. The companies that do best with product like growth have that inherent viral component to the product. And so, one of the first things as an entrepreneur, like as you've identified, here's a problem, here's a solution of how I'm going to fix it. You have to be really honest and figure out, "Can I find that inherent, viral component of this product or does it just not make any sense?"
Ade Olonoh: The other thing I'd say briefly about product like growth is, it doesn't mean you don't have to do marketing. I think every company has to do marketing to some degree. And I think it's really important even in product like growth companies, to find strong marketing channels to I guess seed new groups of users and to grow faster. But if you have that viral component, that just lifts all your initiatives even more. Because essentially you've got free brand spend, brand initiatives that you're not spending money on, just because your product is spreading on its own.
Anna Eaglin: So I'm curious what you thought it was going to be like to be an angel investor, and then when it actually is like.
Ade Olonoh: Yeah, it's funny. I would say angel investing is different than venture. I'll talk about both angel and venture. The thing that everybody thinks about being an angel investor, and myself included, was you think most of the job is really kind of helping, work with entrepreneurs closely and kind of help their business grow, which is a thing that attracts me to it, and the thing I love the most. The thing about angel investing and I'd say VC is, that's probably the least common part of your job. The first part of your job is just finding the next deal. So talking to a lot of entrepreneurs you're going to say, "No," to and trying to evaluate and understand, "Is this a good fit for me? Do I think it's going to work?" And also because in both cases you're somewhat budget constrained, with every entrepreneur you're asking like, "Is this one of the best deals I'm going to see all year or that I've seen in the past year? And so even if I might really like it, do I really, really like it?"
Ade Olonoh: And so I guess, yeah, to answer your question simply, that's the thing that's most surprising about the job. Maybe I knew that a little bit on paper, but just feeling more real. Like I wish my day was 100% just hanging out with existing portfolio companies and working through problems, kind of helping them.
Anna Eaglin: So one final question for you. What does better product mean to you?
Ade Olonoh: So better product to me, I think I would probably always start with, "Is it solving the problem that you're fundamentally trying to tackle by building this product?" And I use the word problem very loosely, even when it, in the consumer space, that problem may be, "How do you connect with people that you care about? How do you explore more about your interests? Or how do you..." Things like that, that may be more fuzzy than say in the B2B world, where it's, "Oh, I increased revenue," or something like that. But yeah, fundamentally like, "Does software solve the problem? And then how does it do that as elegantly and seamlessly as possible?" And then I would probably also add a third thing connecting to what we just talked about. "Does better product also have, just because of my bias around vitality, have a built in growth engine or mechanism or channel to create a sustainable business?
Christian Beck: So that was one of our most unique interviews, because we had somebody who has seen success in product, failure in product, is now investing in product.
Anna Eaglin: Who has built product, has overseen product. He seems like he's played every role possible that you could play in a product life cycle. So what did you think about the, he built Formstack in four weeks?
Christian Beck: So he built it in four weeks. I agree. It sounds like a catchy headline, but he even admitted in talking that, it was really the idea was, he was working on things around that space for a lot of time before that. And so when I was thinking about this after the interview, I was thinking about, it's almost like, I wrote that if you're a PhD and saying, "I wrote the dissertation in like two months." "Oh, that's not that bad," until you're like, "Well, but I was doing research for years before that." And I think that's important for this, because a lot of early stage founders will hear something like that and then think, it's sort of that like overnight success. Like there's no such thing as an overnight success. But yeah, so that part was really useful to hear from him, especially when we gave him our hypothetical, unless we want to make it real and really build this Adobe Flash app [crosstalk 00:26:23].
Anna Eaglin: Yeah. Yeah, let's-
Christian Beck: Leaving our day jobs to do that.
Anna Eaglin: Do that. Let's build a, like makes MIDI.
Christian Beck: MIDI sounds.
Anna Eaglin: MIDI ringtones, maybe.
Christian Beck: Oh, those were the good old days kids. But when we described that, and in terms of thinking about an MVP, you had a good point off air, which was that he admitted that he was a tinkerer himself and likes to play around as an artist, but his sort of material was code. I think if you are good at validating ideas and doing research and putting together decks, it sort of shows that there are other ways to start playing around with an idea. It doesn't just have to be code, right? It could be-
Anna Eaglin: Yeah. I don't know if anyone else was, I was taken aback when he said, "Oh, I just built a couple of MVPs and then see what I liked." And I was like, "Wow, developer privilege. Right?
Christian Beck: Right. Yeah.
Anna Eaglin: But yeah. I think yeah, in discussing anything we realize, and I think it's very inherent in the way that he calls himself an artist, he's prolific, it sounds like he thinks via code. Yeah. So code is his medium, really. And so you think about other entrepreneurs, they would make a deck, they would do designs, they would put a vision together. So I think the takeaway there is, not that you should be developing lots of MVP, but whatever your method of execution or being able to translate your vision is to get it out there and see how it starts to feel. That's what I really took from that.
Christian Beck: Yeah. You mentioned validation. It's all about validating the early stage idea and maybe dispelling the myth that, that means you've got to build something right away, there's other ways to do it, and leveraging what skills that you bring to the table.
Anna Eaglin: He mentioned that in order to validate that you have a good idea, people are using it, number one, number two, people are paying you for it, and number three, it's repeatable. Well Christian, what were your thoughts about that?
Christian Beck: Again, Ade broke down something very simple that a lot of founders overlook which is, "Well, what does it really mean to validate something?" It's, you try to go get investment for something and you're asking somebody to give you money to build something, so obviously you should make sure somebody else is paying you for that first. That makes sense in hindsight, but a lot of people forget that. They have this great idea and they might have mockups and expect that, if they paint this vision of the product they want to build, people will just fund it. What Ade is telling us from his history and then as an investor, I thought, I think I'm quoting here that, "Investors don't rarely want to invest in an idea, they want to invest in something that's working."
Christian Beck: And basically what you just said with validation is, his definition of working, that people are paying you money for it and you're seeing repeated use. That's the most basic definition. So really focusing your first product and MVP on just achieving those two goals is better than saying, "Well, I'm just trying to get investment." Like no, focus on repeated use and people paying you for it first.
Anna Eaglin: What would you say to an entrepreneur who says, "Well, that's all well and good, but I need the investment in order to build something that people will pay me for,"?
Christian Beck: Good question. I'd say a little bit about what we were talking about is fine, the skill set that you do bring to the table. You hear a lot of people like Ade that have engineering backgrounds that are writing and talking about building MVPs with code, but maybe that isn't the thing that you have to do. You will need to build something eventually, but in the initial stages maybe you don't have to do that. On the other hand, he also mentioned the technical co-founder. I think is also worth a lot of non-technical founders time to, start networking and figuring out who you'd want to partner to build this. His analogy was good. You don't-
Anna Eaglin: "You don't start a restaurant without a chef."
Christian Beck: Right.
Anna Eaglin: Yeah. When you put it like that, it does make a lot of sense, and it's the way that you're going to output. I think, like he mentioned, there's dev shops out there, but he really sees that as... It's funny, he said literally the economics of it are, "You are going to spend more money on a dev shop than you will on a full time developer." Which I think is commonly not the case. It's commonly not how people, I guess, see that relationship.
Christian Beck: Yeah. If we take that analogy further, it's almost like a lot of founders have the concept for the restaurant and the type of food, maybe the ambiance and the way you serve, like maybe it's going to be, a walkup diner style or something like that. But what he's saying is, "That's all cool and you can mock that restaurant up and have the concept, but until you get somebody to partner with to cook the food, you've got nothing." I don't think any person in their right mind would get funding to build a restaurant, get it all built and hire the servers and everything without having the chef to cook the food.
Anna Eaglin: I guess I would push back on that just a little bit and say, that's assuming a product is development led. It's assuming that the method is the solution. And I don't think that's always the case with product. Obviously, you cannot have a product unless it's developed and people can access it. However, the creation of it isn't always the like secret sauce, you know what I mean? It has to work well and it has to be great. And that's all definitely, yes. And just like with the food, the food has to be good and it has to... But that's assuming that the code is the food. And I don't know that the code's always...
Christian Beck: The code might not be the food?
Anna Eaglin: I don't know that the code is always... Maybe the code's the plates, you know what I mean? Like you've got to have plates and they've got to be good and they've got to be-
Christian Beck: Well, I hear what you're saying. You go to some restaurants and you know the food isn't great, but you like the view, it's on the water.
Anna Eaglin: Right? It's on the water.
Christian Beck: Right.
Anna Eaglin: Yeah. It's, they have a great band playing tonight.
Christian Beck: But to his point, I think you still can't have all of those things without somebody making it.
Anna Eaglin: True. Yes.
Christian Beck: I think what you're saying though is, kind of leading to what he's talking about with product led growth. It's almost like a baseline requirement to have somebody build it. You have to have this. Your restaurant had somebody cooking, but there could be five other reasons people use it.
Anna Eaglin: Thanks so much for listening to the show this week. If you haven't yet, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. Until then, visit innovatemap.com/podcast and subscribe to learn how you can take your product to the next level. As always, we're curious, what does better product mean to you? Hit us up on twitter@innovatemap or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Beck: I'm Christian...
Anna Eaglin: And I'm Anna, and you've been listening to Better Product.
Christian Beck: Better Product.
Anna Eaglin: Drop Mike.