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[flagged] The MVP most startups ignore (makeswift.com)
28 points by lindsaytrinkle 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

So this Blogpost about marketing landing pages for startups is marketing for a startup that does marketing landing pages for startups.

I’ve made millions selling pamphlets about how to make pamphlets about how to make millions, and you can too!

Do you have a Telegramm Group or something? I am interested in getting rich quickly!

> What if we change the way we think about a startup’s first marketing site altogether?

> What if founders thought about their first website the way they think about their product?

> What if we treated early startup websites as if they are the marketing MVP?

Wait what? I don’t get it... Which startups website isn't an MVP? Can anyone explain what the point of this article is?

It appears to me to be an ad for their no code site builder.

Might seem like a braindead point, but the website doesn’t actually state what MVP stands for. For sales and marketing, MVP might mean Most Valuable Player. For most developers, MVP means minimally viable product. Unfortunate name collision that could completely shift the tone of this article...

While the OP's account is a few years old, they have zero comments and zero submissions until this one, a blatant blogspam advertisement for their startup.

Does marketing come before testing the idea?

What if your product is super abstract? What if it requires research and new types of engineering?

Maybe this fits for some types of businesses, but I suspect it's probably better just to build the thing.

Edit: take my opinions with a grain of salt. I've never had a successful exit. I'm mostly wanting to gather others' opinions.

If your product is super abstract or requires research and new tech, that’s even more reason to test the waters first and make sure there’s a market you can sell to before embarking on months or years of work.

> Maybe this fits for some types of businesses, but I suspect it's probably better just to build the thing.

9 out of 10 wantepreneurs that approach me with their SaaS/app idea can validate the offering by building a web site. Instead, everyone wants me to spend months on building a prototype. Which isn't even a prototype, they want full-blown product. "How am I going to sell it when there's no product?!". Dude, here's a landing page with ALL the features YOU THINK people want listed on it. And here's a "Buy now!" button. If you can't get a decent conversion with that, I'm not going to build your app ever. And guess what? Most of the time nobody clicks on the button, because nobody wants that product.

What do you put on the buy now page? "April fools, we don't have anything to sell you, come back later"?

I've found it effective to ask people to sign up for a mailing list and offer them a lifetime discount on the future product in exchange.

Gather their contact info at least, saying "We're launching our product soon. We'll notify you when it's available!". Those who actually leave their email probably have a strong interest and could be your early adopters. They might even be up to discussing their needs with you if they haven't found a product that solves their issue yet.

The trouble I see with that is if I'm a consumer and find this buy now button and instead of letting me buy now you ask me to join a mailing list I'm not going to be happy. When you eventually launch the product I'm going to remember you as the guys with the website with the weird mailing list dark pattern and avoid buying from you. That said I may be atypical.

I don't know much about consumer, but many enterprise services will only let you book a sales call even when they already have a product. That's annoying, but seems like people go with it.

> What if it requires research and new types of engineering?

This is even more reason to do market research before sinking a bunch of cost into R&D!

The two cases where you can spend big on R&D without much in the way of market validation are:

1. The product is obviously useful, e.g. self-driving trucks

2. You are going for a patent / aqui-hire play

Point (1) is particularly dangerous when you get attached to your product idea.

If it's still super abstract, you're likely pre-MVP. If you're investing time in R&D, you should know what you _want_ to accomplish, even if you don't necessarily know how to get there yet.

Some products need to be tangible for a user to perceive the benefit. Likely everyone can name at least one product that sounds stupid but is actually great. You need to _experience_ them to _get it_.

In the end this is still all product-market fit. In most cases communicating the solution is enough. In rare cases demonstrating it is necessary. But it's likely good advice for your average tinkerer who believes their idea is the next big thing.

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