Let's talk about how we build products from scratch using low technology and no code. It's not just models, but the actual products we launch, sell and develop.
The key is to build a pilot MVP around our core philosophy. Everything around this core idea should be manual, flexible, and low-tech so that it can grow rapidly as we learn.
I will explain why this kind of experiment is crucial, and I will go through every part of the product cycle to discuss which low-tech alternatives to future high-tech peers.
Why is there no password? Because there are no rules.
This is a sneaky fact about technology. No one needs NEEDS technology. In fact, the more technology we have in our lives, the more complicated our lives are. But when technology simplifies our lives without reminding us of its existence, we use technology. We love technology, solve our problems and make our lives easier. weneedTechnology to do things that we can't do manually.
The mistakes entrepreneurs make are applying rules to our technology before we understand how users accept products, how to simplify their lives, and why they need products.
The great thing about the low-tech pilot MVP is that it forces us to reproduce the manual steps that will reveal these rules. When we do our work manually, we will be educated about which issues, which are the most expensive for us and our customers, and how our technology solves them. Once we have these rules,ThenWe will build the technology.
Therefore, we do not want to implement a large number of rules during our pilot MVP. You might say, "Well, at the level of free use, I don't want them to do this." You still don't know. Writing this rule before launching MVP is risky and expensive.
Remember, technology can be at every turning pointachieveOur product, it does notPrice includesour products.
People: This is your code
Ultimately, technology-enhanced products provide the greatest value by making decisions for us and our customers. But technology itself is not a decision maker, no matter how much machine learning you learn. These decisions are always the best decisions people make first.
Therefore, in the MVP phase, our staff will replace the code, receive all the inputs for each part of the process, calculate math to make the product work, and send the output to the next step in the process. They should record everything they do, including all outliers, errors, problems and numbers.
This document will eventually tell you what you need to build first, what the cost is and how much flexibility each part needs.
In other words, start your MVP with human intelligence and actual learning before you enter artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Spreadsheet: This is your database
In my career, I have been involved in SQL, data science and machine learning, and I am still a big fan of low-level spreadsheets.
The spreadsheet will serve as your very basic, non-relational, very poorly functioning database. They may also provide the logic and calculations required to perform certain functions of the product-mathematical calculations that will eventually be handed over to your technical team.
When your employees are collecting inputs, performing mathematical calculations, and creating output, all of the data they generate should be stored in one or more spreadsheets.
You'll need to provide your users with a spreadsheet for your attribution, fees, revenue, and any results with numbers attached. You even need a spreadsheet to get non-numeric data, but you believe you can quantify it later.
reward: Online spreadsheet solutions such as Google Desktop or Excel for the Web allow multiple people to collaborate and track their input.
Shareable documents: these are your features
Don't forget that shareable documents-Google Docs or Office 365 or others-have changed the game in terms of information management. If used properly, shareable documents are your function to collect and manage information according to a set of standard rules.
Shareable documents can be limited to a single user or a group of users.They can be internal or external. They automatically collect various meta-information, including user IDs and timestamps.They can be constructed to collect unstructured information in a structured format.
These have much in common with the code, only the code can be more beautiful.
reward: Google Forms and Surveys allow you to restrict input options and automatically generate spreadsheets for your low-tech database.
SMS/Email: This is your API
An application programming interface (API) sends information (data) from one part of a system to another part of another system. In low-tech terminology, text messaging (SMS) is an API from one person to another.
Yes, this can be cumbersome, but to be honest, SMS is probably the most frictionless user interface you can imagine. No application, no formatting, all rules happen on the back end, so to speak.
Therefore, SMS and email, basically any form of digital communication, will serve as your very manual, very slow, very user-friendly input and output.
reward:For advanced operations of low-tech APIs, Slack and Zapier can process information as it moves in and out, including information from emails or text messages.
Online payment processor: This is your e-commerce engine
The most important part of any product is how it collects payments. This requires no friction.
Fortunately, there are many providers that can handle everything for you. We are not listing all the content and talking about their pros and cons, but talking about getting paid quickly.
I can handle this in one sentence:
I don't care if your MVP will send a certified check to the customer, so it's more important to introduce pricing and payment structures than to allow technicians to support it for a long time to start or collect revenue.
Bulk Email Service: This is your CRM
Bulk email services like MailChimp or Constant Contact are an easy way to start building a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It provides basic reports on opening and clicking and conversions, and is fully self-serviced on the client side.
The last part is important because it is the first low-code system that will serve as a secondary system for low-tech MVPs. You will have a user spreadsheet and a list of contacts in MailChimp. The location where the two data sets intersect will be your customer base, so the data must be up to date.
reward:Many bulk email service providers offer semi-automatic ways to enter and export user spreadsheets, including comma-separated values (CSV) downloads and uploads.
Google Analytics and social/advertising: this is your marketing
Even if you only have one static website, it's important to have in-and-out marketing data from the start. This step can continue in place in the MVP process, but this is mandatory because it is your future.
Your website and/or application is your inbound channel, and that's how you engage people to access products. Your social and web-based ads are your outbound messages, and this is how you let people know about your products. All the parts that make these things happen and collect data from them start with low technology.
Google Analytics is a beast with a simple cut and paste process and a web-based reporting system to analyze results. Both social networks and advertising platforms have their own portals. If you want to aggregate your news, there are free low-tech products like Hootsuite or Hubspot.
reward: Google Analytics reports inbound reports from social and ad portals. It also has APIs that can connect directly to these portals to track clicks and even conversions.
When they come, you have to build it
Finally, remember that you must ultimately build low-tech into something real and extensible. If you don't know if your low technology will expand, you can start your MVP, but if you don't know if the real technology is working, you won't be able to launch your MVP.
Therefore, when you design and tune your processes around these low-code solutions, always consider the feasibility and cost of the final coding solution.
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