That said - I love the idea of your app :)
On one hand, I think this kind of planning is pretty clever, and definitely may steal a page or two from it.
On the other hand, I feel kinda tricked :( I was a labrat, run through a maze, at no benefit to myself for giving up that information (not that I was expecting anything in return).
I thought that maybe it was a dry run test, but didn't want to accuse Dru of not having any product when it was possible he had spent months building this.
It's a shame that in order to test out hypothesis and expect to get adequate feedback, it has come to lying to customers about the product being offered.
Particularly when they have a 'free - get started' button, making the user think they are about to get the product.
Nowhere on the sign-up page does it say the product is in beta testing (which of course it isn't, it's just an idea at the moment).
I'm all for discovering what the customer wants.
I'm not for telling the customer you have something to offer when you don't.
So Reputely: kudos, good luck, and game on.
That's one of the potential downsides, but the information is so valuable that I think it's worth risking (to a certain extent).
Sites like http://www.levlr.com, http://www.epicwinapp.com, http://www.kuwest.com and maybe http://www.badgeville.com (not sure) don't seem to be this at all. They seem more like twitter apps with points attached. These systems are based on the 'honor system' since you can't really prove anyone did anything.
There seems to also be a breed of service that is somewhere in between. Where your application does the hard work of determining when a user has earned the points or reward and just tells another service to 'store' that. Our startup originally went down this road but HN quickly gave us feedback and said they didn't like the idea of sites doing all the hard work and then just letting someone else store that reputation data. Now we are more similar to BunchBall in that we actually provide a configurable rule engine which awards the items to your users for you.
I think its interesting to see so many companies 'go public' all at once. Like dwynings says on his blog, other companies coming out just validates the market. Now its time to actually deliver something. :)
Can anyone recommend other articles about MVP? The article's author also mentioned that he used HN as a good starting place; does anyone have links to those posts?
EDIT: Looks like the original post was just from a week ago, and I actually read it :) It's here for anyone that's curious: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1482834
(RRSPs for Canadians are like IRAs for Americans. Except when Canadians move across the border their RRSPs aren't treated as pensions for U.S. income tax purposes, so all of a sudden they have to pay income tax on the investment earnings inside their RRSPs.)
I'm not expecting to make a ton of money on this. It's just a proof of concept to see if I can get away from being a well-paid wage slave.
Total cost = two domain names at GoDaddy using the cjc689not code :-) plus WordPress (free) plus a theme (free) plus a bit of time last night (not free, but...) plus yet another domain hosted on Bluehost (free).
Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly. JFDI. Right?
EDIT: also inspired by seeing http://custdev.com and how easy it was to sell an ebook.
> I’ve got a dialogue with my target customers, who are amazingly passionate about Reputely and really want to help.
My question is: do your target customers still want to help etc after they find out the truth? It seems to me that it would put people off - but that's just an opinion/hypothesis. What, in fact, happens?
It seems kind of like how some food places will advertise in a market a year or more before they build their first place and gauge response by website visits and phone calls from the area.