While I was on holiday, Marc started creating a new product from scratch. He’d been walking around with a problem he wanted to solve and couldn’t find anything that he liked. Marc also wanted to try out the Scala programming language, to see if it would be worth using, and thought nothing helps you focus more than building an actual product.
I didn’t get it. But I gave Marc a hand anyway, because we had previously decided that QWAN values:
supporting someone who has a passion over discussing the business case at length
Why didn’t I get it?
Marc had a problem that he needed solving for himself, and he was obstinate about it, while I already had solved that thing for myself. Or so I thought…
We started building, and me not being that interested in the product helped. I kept asking: what is the Minimum Viable Product? What do we need to do to go into production, at least to start using it for ourselves? When can we invite others? How could we generate revenue out of it?
While we were building together, the idea for the product already started to shift. Even though neither of us could really use it yet. Just by looking at the things’ user interface, I’d say to Marc: “If I were to work with it, this-and-this would take me too much time (and turn me away)”, and then we’d have a discussion and things change.
Eventually, when we reached the point that we could deploy it in such a way that we could both use it, I started using it too.
And then I got it… I thought my needs were already covered by what I was using, but Marc’s idea was just slightly better than what I was using already. And that leads me to a puzzle: many potential users will have the same idea as me: they already have a solution that works for them, so they are not going to try this new thing out… How do you get someone who’s already got a solution to try out something new that might work even better?