“The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
The next day I started by mapping out a plan for this project. My first goal was to validate the problem and see how many surfers relate to it.
That day, one of my subscribers messaged me on Twitter to share her enthusiasm about this journal, and to offer me help and advice on my projects. She is also a fellow surfer. “How cool is that”, I thought. She is the first person that messaged me out of the blue to offer me help and share her excitement. She made me feel proud that I started this journal and decided to be transparent about my journey.
We started discussing the carpooling idea and advised me to keep it simple. To focus on identifying as fast as I can, all the challenges that surfers will have with carpooling. For example girls may be interested into carpooling with other girls only. I have to try and see. Her background is more business related. She is not a technical person and that gave me a new perspective. Her definition of “keep it simple” was different than mine.
My first suggestion was to “Develop a super simple website where people can ask and offer a carpool to a certain surf spot in Netherlands.”. If it ever gets any traction only then I will start improving it. As a product designer and developer I am used to building products. But sometimes this is not the right way to go. Once I suggested this, she brought me another perspective that really changed the way I think. “Most surfers are already in Facebook groups and interact there. Why don’t you create a Facebook group instead of a website? People can do the exact same thing. Ask and offer carpool rides”. At first I didn’t like the approach. “I won’t have anything to design and develop this way", I thought. “It will be boring”. That was the moment I realized that I was wrong. A Facebook group could solve the problem. Only when the group gets big enough, there will be a real need for an external website.
I decided to go for it and created a Facebook group called “Car Pooling - Golfsurfers in Nederland”
. I posted about it in some surf-related Facebook groups and 6 people joined in total. Not the most positive reaction… I was feeling disappointed. My previous post about the beach eye reports idea, got almost 100 reaction. But this one had no strong interest from the community. Maybe the timing is wrong. Maybe the idea is bad itself. Or maybe it just needs some time to grow and spread the word.
I decided to focus and appreciate the fact that I did a first step and brought this idea into life. Now there is a place where people can offer and ask a carpool ride in Netherlands. That’s better than nothing, no success comes overnight. The goal is to experiment and move fast.