Tag Archives: Lean Startup

Lesson 6: What are you measuring in a concierge MVP?

This is the sixth and final lesson in the series: How Non-Technical Founders Can Bring a Product to Market.

By Poornima Vijayashanker

Welcome back! In my previous lesson I told you how you can get started creating a Concierge MVP by deciding what your value proposition is, coming up with a hypothesis for who your early adopter maybe, and finally coming up with a brief description of the experience that someone will go through.

Throughout all the past lessons I’ve been telling you that a Concierge MVP is after all an experience and you’re running an experiment. One part of running an experiment is to take measurements. Measurements are used as indicators. We can infer whether or not the experiment was a success or a failure, or use the measurements to make educated decisions of what to conclude or to do next.

In this final lesson, I’ll be providing you with some examples of what it is you should be measuring as you offer your Concierge MVP to customers. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s meant to give you an idea of measurements you may want to take to determine if your Concierge MVP is a success or failure.

Keep in mind, in either case you can use the data to improve the Concierge MVP, and run the experiment again.

The first thing you want to measure is a customers interest. You can measure that by the number of people who sign up to try out your Concierge MVP. If you find that not too many people are signing up then it’s possible that either they aren’t interested in the value proposition, or you aren’t going after the right type of early adopter.

If you see there are a significant number of sign ups, then the next measurement to take is engagement.

It’s not enough for people to just sign up to try out your Concierge MVP, they need to go through the experience. While your Concierge MVP maybe one that can either be experienced once or multiple times, you want to measure each experience individually. You can survey customers after their first experience and then each subsequent experience to find out on a scale of 1-10 if they love or hate your Concierge MVP.

If it’s neither, then it’s very likely that they are apathetic about the Concierge MVP, which is a sign of disinterest. If people are disinterested you’ll have to go back to figuring out the value proposition and if you’re targeting the right early adopter segment.

If instead they swing to the extremes you can go on to taking the third and final measurement, especially in the case where people may hate the Concierge MVP.

The final measurement is to gauge what needs to be improved in order to retain the customer. This comes down to surveying the customer, and then finding patterns in the surveys amongst the customers. Focus on what you uncover as commonalities, and use that to refine your Concierge MVP before you test it again on another set of customers.

OK that’s it for all my lessons on Concierge MVP!

To recap we started by talking about why so many MVPs fail, then talked about how a Concierge MVP is a great way to test an idea especially if you have limited resources. Then I mentioned why it’s important for both technical and non-technical founders to create a Concierge MVP. After that I showed you how you can get started on building your own, and in this final lesson we’ve talked about measurements you can take to determine how effective your Concierge MVP is.

One last parting point, no matter whether or not your Concierge MVP is a wild success or horrible failure, you will need to iterate and refine it. The reason being, you cannot scale a business long term with just a Concierge MVP. Remember the main goal is to test the value proposition amongst a group of early adopters.

I’d love for you to share your Concierge MVP results with me! Just tweet @poornima.

Did you enjoy this mini-course? Want more hands-on guidance to building and growing a product and startup? Then check out our upcoming 8-week online course GROW IT.

Checkout out the previous lessons:

Why a Student Wished He Had Taken Femgineer’s Ship It Course Sooner

By Poornima Vijayashanker

A few weeks ago one of the students who is currently in our Ship It Course, Nathan, told me the following:

“I don’t know if you remember, for my product idea I wanted to contract out to a development company and get it done! But I did not follow some of the major steps.

I wish I would have taken this course a year earlier. I recently ended the contract with them (due to some communication issues and the cost). Most importantly, since I’m starting over, I want to complete some interviews and usability tests with early adopters. (I did create some tests before but never asked anyone’s opinion to improve the product!)

I’m so glad that I took this course and I’m taking a step back to do things in the proper way!”

It was wonderful to hear Nathan’s feedback, but more importantly I was thrilled that he wasn’t afraid to take a step back, and try a new approach.

If you’re a innovator like Nathan, you probably also have a million questions running through your head!

  • “Should I hire a full time developer or a development shop?”
  • “Should I build a mobile product first? Or just a web app?”
  • “Where should I be looking for early adopters?”
  • “How should I approach them?”
  • “When is it too soon to be marketing?”
  • “How do I price my product?”
  • “I’ve launched my product but I just hear crickets, what do I do next? Help!!”


You wish that you could easily find advisors, mentors, or anyone who has done this before, and has the time to help you out consistently!

I know I’ve struggled through this period as I was building products for Mint, BizeeBee, and Femgineer. It has taken me many years (8+), a lot of books, and talking to literally hundreds of people to pieces all this information together.

I don’t think everyone else should have to go through this lengthy struggle. That is the primary reason why I created the Ship It Course.

I want to give entrepreneurs, engineers, product managers, and product marketers like YOU, the answers you are looking for from instructors who have successfully build, launched, and made money from products!

Now there are a LOT of great courses and resources out there, and I want you to find the one that is right for YOU.

So if you’re wondering what you’ll GET from Femgineer’s Ship It Course then here it is:

  • High touch. You are not a number to us! We limit our class size to 50 students, so that we can focus on providing each student individualized attention. We give you feedback on all your homework assignments. We also provide online office hours weekly, and if you want 1-1 coaching from an instructor you can book an appointment at a time that works for you.

  • Easy access. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world! We’ve had students from France, Germany, UK, UAE, and India participate in our course. Having it online means you can take part from anywhere! It also means that we know there are cultural nuances but our approach works across markets.

  • Materials. We distill information from the best books and resources, but also give them to you as part of the course, if you’d like to dig a little deeper. You’ll also learn what has worked from our experiences. You’ll have access to all the lectures through recordings, so if you miss something you can go back and re-watch it later.

  • Ongoing support. We know products take sometime to get off the ground, and you might have more questions or needs later on. So we stay in touch even after the 8-weeks, and we want you to come back and visit us!

So yes there are other resources available to you, but ask yourself the following:

  • Who is going to give you step-by-step directions that are easy to follow?

  • Who is going to give you feedback that applies to your product and is actionable?

  • Who is willing to sit down when it’s convenient for you, to talk about your idea, or get you out of a slump if you’re stuck?

Let your answers guide you to the course you’re looking for.

Learn more about the course here. Applications are due this Friday February 12, 2016!

Lesson 5: How to Create a Concierge MVP

This is the fifth lesson in the series: How Non-Technical Founders Can Bring a Product to Market.

By Poornima Vijayashanker

Welcome back! In my previous lesson I cited a few examples of successful startups that began with the Concierge MVP: AirBnB and Zappos.

By this point you understand what a concierge MVP is, the importance of starting with it whether you’re a technical or non-technical founder, and you have some examples of companies that began as a concierge MVP. So now you’re probably wondering how you can get started?

To begin, you will need to decide what your value proposition is i.e. what are you offering as a benefit to potential users. For example, when I started offering my first course at Femgineer, my value proposition was for people to learn product development, in 8-weeks, online, and from a reputable practitioner, me!

Remember you can test out various value propositions.

Next you need to come up with a theory for who you think your early adopter might be, and make sure to put the value proposition in the context of the early adopter.

Going back to my example, I did this by saying the course was for product managers, software engineers, and startup founders, who wanted to build tech products. I intentionally limited the types of people and the products they would want to build, because I wanted to be clear, and have a focus.

Finally, you need to provide a brief description of the experience someone will go through. You can be as detailed as you’d like to be at this stage.

Once you’ve completed those three steps you’ll have to go out into the world and advertise it!

You can start by reaching out to your network if you think there maybe early adopter there. If not, then you’ll need to think about where your type of early adopter hangs out and advertise on those mediums with a call to action to either sign up, enter an email address, or give you a call. You want someway to communicate with people.

In my case, a lot of my early adopters were my Twitter followers, and blog readers. They signed up by filling out an application.

Hopefully, you will get someone who responds to your ad. Once you do, you need to follow up with each to get some feedback.

In the next and final lesson, I’ll explain what feedback you should be looking for, and how to measure the success of your Concierge MVP.

Did you enjoy this lesson? Got any questions for me on it? Please let it the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer it!

Checkout out the previous lessons:

Already built an MVP and ready to attract customers and generate revenue? Then check out our upcoming GROW IT Course here.