MVP features

I always struggle at this phase, where you decide what is an MVP feature and what not. The absolute minimum is this:

  • Artisan can register to the app
  • Artisans can add courses to app
  • Users can browse the courses by category or by searching
  • Users can join a course

Right now I have a basic app where the user can login and start adding courses. Next step is to build the search feature.

Roadmap

Lately I have been reading a lot from Patrick McKenzie. His journey about building things as a solo founders is more than compelling. Some days ago he also retweeted a post to Tyler Tringas article about how he started, grew and finally sold their Micro Software as a Service business. No need to say that after reading those I felt both motivated and completely frustrated. But it also was the final push to pick one of the hundreds of ideas I have collected in my mind for the last 10 years and start doing it for real.

Goals

So, for this to work, I need to set specific, achievable goals. So, following the path they and others have follow, my goals are:

  • To work on it only a few hours each day and on the weekends. It is a side project for now.
  • No big money investment. That would make easy to discard it if at the end it doesn’t work
  • Solve a problem that I have had
  • From start to launch day, no more than 30 days should pass

More details of each point

To work only a few hours per week

This is a side project with real potential. I plan to work on it on weekends and at night after kids go to sleep. 2 hours a day and 6 to 8 hours on the weekends. Total time during the 30 days should be around 80-100 hours.

No big money investment

For now my planned investments are

  • domain name
  • payment processor subscription
  • small hosting for the backend/frontend
  • some WordPress theme for the landing page

Solve a real problem

This is the important thing. I am trying to build something that solves a problem that me, or someone close to me has and is willing to pay for it. So, my wife is a bookbinder. She has a store and a workshop in Barcelona where she regularly has courses teaching the bookbinding craft to many students. So far we have used some existing platforms to promote the courses to more people. We have also used google adwords, the webpage and word of mouth to reach to a bigger audience. But those are either very difficult to use for someone not technical or limited in the quantity of people that we can reach. What she and other artisans want is to teach their craft, and, if possible, not invest a lot of time in learning the specifics of advertising, SEO or a tool difficult to use. So the idea was to create this tool to publish their courses, easily and with no frictions, and let people find her, sign up, pay and come and learn a craft. That’s it. A real problem with a simple solution (I hope)

30 days to launch

Yes, if I don’t establish a deadline I know this will end just like the other hundred of never-done projects I have imagined. Therefore, this is my deadline:

The launch day is January, 2nd, 2020

May the force (and Patrick and Tyler) be with me 😀

Learning Artisan Crafts

The idea is simple: allow people to learn crafts from local artisans.

That was easy, just a sentence. This is the longer description I would give to a friend or a relative during a family gathering:

I am creating a webpage where local artisans can publish courses to teach their craft and that people can use to discover and register to learn amazing new crafts.

People enjoy learning and creating things and I am giving them the opportunity to meet artisans from their community. Artisans, on the other side, love creating and preserving their craft and they want a simple way to reach new apprentices to share their knowledge and skills with.

I will give them a tool to find each other that is simple and straightforward to use. The artisan focus on the course details and scheduling and preparation of the course. The apprentices can pick the craft they like and register in a single click. I will take care of the boring details like payments, appointment reminders, and making sure that the courses reach the widest audience posible

Miguel doing the elevator pitch during a family dinner

Wish me luck!