Mario Cardinal

"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" – Marcel Proust


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MVP Renewal Day

Today, while processing my email on this beautiful Canada Day, I was happy to find my MVP renewal among the many messages in my inbox.

mvpFor fifteen consecutive years, I am the proud recipient of the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award from Microsoft. MVP status is awarded to credible technology experts who have demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the community. While there are more than 100 million technical community members on earth, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as MVPs. Each year, around 2,000 MVPs are honored. They are nominated by Microsoft and other community individuals for this annual award. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies.

I suspect that I am receiving this award mainly for my outstanding contribution as host of the Visual Studio Talk Show podcast. This French-language podcast, where we discuss software architecture, began in November 2004 (Yes! 15 years ago). With the help of co-host Guy Barrette, we publish a show with a French-spoken technology expert on a monthly basis.

Here is a listing of the podcasts we published lately:

June 5, 2019 0232 – Stephane Lapointe – Gouvernance dans Azure
May 6, 2019 0231 – Laurent Duveau – Vue
April 1, 2019 0230 – Alain Vezina – Le métier du DevOps
March 3, 2019 0229 – Maxime Rouiller – Durables Functions
February 9, 2019 0228 – Etienne Tremblay – Azure Pipelines
January 5, 2019 0227 – Vincent Hubert – IoT
December 9, 2018 0226 – Bernard Fedotoff – SaaS
October 25, 2018 0225 – Frank Boucher – Azure DevTest Labs
October 5, 2018 0224 – Michel Perfetti – Azure DevOps
September 4, 2018 0223 – Fred Harper – Programmer avec le SDK de Fitbit
August 12, 2018 0222 – Eric Coté – React
July 12, 2018 0221 – Mathieu Guindon – Rubberduck VBA
June 4, 2018 0220 – Jérôme Laban – WebAssembly


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Minimum Lovable and Marketable Product

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.

heart and dollarAt 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.


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Minimum Lovable Product

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.minimum-lovable-product