I was so sad yesterday to learn about the passing of Chris Squire, the legendary bass player and founding member of Yes. Of all the rock band I’ve listened in my youth, Yes has always been my favorite. Even today, on occasion, I listen to early Yes albums like Tales from Topographic Oceans or its first solo album Fish out of Water.
As I do not follow closely their career, I was not aware that Chris Squire was seriously ill. A few weeks ago, I listened to the song South Side of the Sky from the Fragile album. What a masterpiece. The lyrics expand on the idea that death could be beautiful. Not only do I love the power of this song but I also enjoy just as much the wordless vocal harmonies with Rick Wakeman’s piano. As wrote to me earlier today my childhood friend Luc Viau, “We just lost a great musician who scored the music of our teens.”
Soon, oh soon the light
Pass within and soothe this endless night
And wait here for you
Our reason to be here
Soon, oh soon the time
All we move to gain will reach and calm
Our heart is open
Our reason to be here
Long ago, set into rhyme…
In this post, I explain why the first version of DayTickler must not only be lovable but also a marketable product.
Following my last post some readers were surprised that we will take almost nine months to produce a minimum viable product (MVP). According to Wikipedia, a minimum viable product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk. Usually, a MVP only has those basic features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of customers (early adopters) that are supposed to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to confirm a product vision from an early prototype. As stated by Eric Ries in his colloquial book The Lean Startup, “The minimum viable product 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.“
At this stage in our product development, we seek to validate whether customers will agree to subscribe to the premium version of DayTickler. As we aim to market to consumer in an already mature market (there are already over a hundred to-do app), we can hardly launch a product that would be perceived as incomplete. We need to polish the software to the point of making it lovable, and this requires time. Furthermore, it must have all the necessary features to make it marketable. In our case, this requires building not only the core of the product but also the main feature that will convince customers to subscribe and pay for the premium version. This means that the product cannot be a prototype and this takes work. Especially that while building the product, at the same time, we continue to do consulting. Here’s why the construction of the MVP is so demanding and requires more than 9 months.
In this post, I am providing a progress status on the development of DayTickler.
For more than seven months, with my business partner Erik Renaud, we are currently building the first version of DayTickler, a mobile app to plan your “Today Schedule”. It’s going well. By the end of August, we will have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ready for launch in the app store. The process may seem long but we must ensure that our first version will be a minimum lovable product.
As noted on twitter by Jussi Pasanen, building a MVP is much more complex than programming a few scattered features. This is a wise mix of a functional, reliable, usable and emotional design.
In this post, I present insights about how to reinvent yourselves in a structured way.
As I pointed out last April, I was renewed for a twelfth year as a Microsoft MVP. Sometimes, developers that I met at User Group or during conferences ask me how to become an MVP. The best answer that I read about it is this blog by Mike McKeown: How can I become a Microsoft MVP? I agree with the author that there is no clear-cut recipe on how to become an MVP. It is a happy pairing of passion and personal branding.
Regarding passion, you must let your desires become the determining factor, and it can hardly be taught. In return, it is different for personal branding.
Your image and your mind are a product. If you speak French, I just recorded a podcast about personal branding with Frederic Harper. Frederic is the author of the book Success in Programming: How to Gain Recognition, Power, and Influence Through Personal Branding.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. If you wish to acquire very good knowledge about personal branding, here are two courses offered on the online training site Pluralsight that I attended in recent years and that I recommend:
Earlier this week, my business partner, Erik Renaud, has shared his recipe to launch from the command line one of the hyper-v Android emulator that Microsoft included with Visual Studio 2015 RC.
I agree with Erik that from all the Android emulator on the market, Microsoft has the fastest and most robust solution, especially when developing with Xamarin and Visual Studio.
Contrary to Erik, I only want to launch the Microsoft Emulator Manager…
… and from there select the emulator that I want to start.
Here is the command line:
“%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft Emulator Manager\1.0\emulatormgr.exe” /sku:Android