Get proof of concept on your startup idea.

We help non-technical founders build just-technical-enough MVPs, allowing them to iterate and validate their product quickly before investing in a technical team.

 
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Work with an experienced non-technical founder

 
 
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Mike Wilner

CEO, Compass

A non-technical founder himself, Mike started Compass, building it into a freelance web design marketplace with over $50,000 in sales volume before recruiting a technical co-founder.

He then grew raised over $800K in funding while growing it to over $500,000 in sales volume.

Mike wrote about the Compass founding story in his article, How we Built a Tech Startup without Tech.

 
 
 

Why you should work with us before hiring a technical team

 
 

Building and maintaining your own technology is expensive.

Hiring a team to build a high-fidelity product costs tens of thousands of dollars and anywhere from 3-6 months time. Once a high-fidelity technical product is built, it’s just as expensive to make changes as you learn from your early users/customers.

Early products rarely survive first contact with users.

First versions of products are meant to test assumptions, and there are almost always assumptions that are wrong. It’s important to build the first version of your product as quickly and flexibly as possible, because you’ll need to make changes as you learn.

You don’t need robust technology to get proof of concept and early traction.

Unless your product is inherently technical (i.e. Artificial Intelligence, hardware, etc.), then there are few technical barriers to getting early traction. Using modern technologies, we can build and iterate on a solution that can get you to your next big milestone. 

 
 
 

What startup ideas is this service good for?

 
 
 

Technology-enabled services

Are you trying to use technology to provide a manual service in a more cost-effective way?

We'll help you build the automated systems and workflows that will enable you to serve your early customers.

Two-sided marketplaces

Looking to build a more niche AirBnB, Monster.com, or other kind of marketplace?

We'll help you make progress toward solving the chicken-and-egg problem.

 
 
 

So if an MVP isn't built with custom tech, how will you build it?

 
 

The tools a technical team would use to build your product

 

 

 

 

 

Timeline: 3-6 months

Time to make product changes: additonal weeks/months

Ability to manage on your own: none

The Tools we will use to build your product

  • A modern content management system (Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify
  • Google Sheets/Docs/Scripts
  • Zapier
  • Gmail
  • Twilio
  • Workflow tools (i.e. Calendly, Acuity, etc.)
  • Web scraping tools

Timeline: days/weeks

Time to make product changes: hours/days

Ability to manage on your own: some

 

The Process

We'll create a custom roadmap for you with the goal of making tangible progress on your idea as quickly as possible, which typically involves some version of the following processes: 

 

1. Document business model assumptions

Assumptions about your business model-- revenue model, target audiences, distribution channels and more-- influence early product decisions. We'll document these to inform product design and determine how we'll test some of the business model assumptions.

2. Map user stories

We'll determine exactly how you think different users will interact with your product so that we understand underlying product assumptions and can build an MVP that's fully functional.

3. Solidify marketing essentials

We'll help you solidify your marketing messaging and materials that are needed in order to successfully test your product with your target marketing, using our network of creative freelancers. This includes anything from branding, to landing page design, to product messaging. 

4. Build your MVP

Based on your business model assumptions and user stories, we'll create a functional MVP without creating robust custom technology. 

5. Make contact and iterate

We'll help you run a test with your new product and your target market, glean insights from usage and user interviews, and make modifications to the product so that you can get closer to validating your product and getting early traction.

 
 
 

Start making tangible progress on your startup idea