Ship fast and improve faster based on what customers tell you – this has always been our mantra. The faster we can start getting feedback from customers – the faster we can iterate and improve our offering. This feedback loop is oxygen for startups like us, it helps us validate our ideas, identify problems early on, and adjust our approach accordingly. A couple of extreme examples of this approach caught my eye recently.
Brex calls themselves the OS of scaling startups and have a great banking experience today – I have tried a few similar services myself and can say their product is among the best. The story is when they started off they just had a web form and a virtual credit card they could generate with an internal tool. With that they started on boarding customers. Imagine running a bank like this – no login, no way to see spends, no way to manage accounts or any of the things we take for granted. EVERY SINGLE one of these features was built in once the product was live and was based on customer feedback and needs. Pretty amazing and takes a lots of guts to do.
The next story is from Instacart – a grocery delivery and pick-up app. This product was launched with just a form on the site. Users literally filled up a form with their grocery list and the founder or her friends drove around, picked up the stuff and delivered. That’s it – simple and scary. Many founders I know will first try and raise a few million dollars, build sophisticated warehousing, inventory management and mobile apps before earning that 1st dollar in revenue.