These last days we have been launching “membees” private beta, the first product created by our startup company SigmaBees. membees is an “online shopping organizer and recommendations system”… more details to come in new blog posts in the upcoming weeks, today I will mainly write about the experience of reaching this milestone.
At the moment everything is still coming together. We still have a lot of ideas flying around all the time, changing things “on the fly”, etc… but this is it! We consider that we have reached the most basic usable version of membees (or as some people call it: “minimum viable product” or “minimum usable product”). It delivers the most basic features we have identified and from now on we will be building the product further and adding/refining features based on usage feedback/validation.
It has been a very interesting and challenging ride, where we have listened to many opinions, ideas and criticisms. It is incredible the amount of things you need to learn and do to reach this point, especially when you are doing it for the first time. It is not only about technically developing a product, there are so many other things and details that you have to deal with, some of them you only see when they suddenly pop-up in in front of you and somehow you have to react. This situation is even more demanding when you are starting something from scratch with very limited funds and people. In these situation you literally have to do everything yourself (no delegation or outsourcing is possible). I think every entrepreneur should live these challenges in order to better understand and be sensitive with the whole process of building and creating something. It allows us to learn many things. In my case I would say I especially learned the importance of prioritizing and “get things done”. This took me a while to learn, actually still learning a lot on these topics. I come from an academic working environment where normally there is a bit more freedom and time to experiment and play with different ideas, actually is something one as academic need to do… however this is not always possible to do when building a product with all the limitations attached.
For other entrepreneurs living (or having lived) the same experience, I am sure you will resonate with this “feeling” of reaching a milestone on this adventure. For the ones starting or think about to start a similar adventure, I have to say: get ready for an amazingly challenging and exciting ride, full of “ups” and “downs”, beautiful but “dirty and sometimes cruel” at the same time… I still have a lot to go, but would do it again (now differently in some parts… but that is the way things work most of the times).
If you want to be a private beta tester of membees you can signup here: signup.membees.com (update: We are now in public beta, you can signup and start using membees right from membees.com).