I’m cheap

There’s been a lot going on around here the past few months. In addition to Coinbridge, my consultancy business, I’ve been working on a brand new startup. We started working on the idea three months ago and are still yet to write a single line of code. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “Three months and no one is coding?” “Are you guys lazy?” “Are you stupid?” Nope. We’re just doing lots of user research.

The idea of young entrepreneurs rolling up their sleaves, throwing caution to the wind, and pushing a new idea onto the market as soon as possible is as old as startup culture itself. Most everyone I know who has ever started an Internet company has done things this way. So, why buck tradition if it’s working so well for so many other guys? First, because I’m cheap. Second, because I care deeply about creating things that people will love to use.

By front-loading our product development process with multiple cycles of design iteration and a ton of low-cost usability and user research — which is the opposite of what most startups do — we’re able to save tons of money, and code a product that we’re confident people will love.

One of my smartest friends followed a similar strategy while he was creating his latest idea. BJ Fogg came up with the design for Yackpack by conducting hundreds of hours of user research, largely using just paper prototypes. Yackpack’s current design is simple, but incredibly innovative. I can only imagine how much extra time and money BJ would have spent had he rushed to code his original design, and done his user research later instead of earlier.

Well, gotta run. I have a usability session starting in an hour!

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