Getting Your Hands Dirty and Doing Proper Validation
You can’t estimate software development — there's always something that needs to be refined to better adjust your product to your target’s audience problem. Software needs to be an enabler, a critical component that creates value.
But how do you know if it’s software and not operations or content that creates real value for your users? You start with an MVP. And here’s how to approach it:
- Problem-solution fit
- Product-market fit
You start with checking if there’s enough of a problem among your target audience to potentially be a viable business idea. This can be done using a no-code tool (custom makes it complicated as we’ve already established) but doesn’t have to be.
Consider the Mafia Offer (or another form of MVP).
The goal of the Mafia Offer is to empirically check if a solution brings value to customers. If need be during this stage, you get your hands dirty and do the work manually instead of relying on software.
With Maffia Offer, you simply check if an idea — the offer — resonates with your target audience. It requires creativity and commitment, but it’s a low-cost validation approach without software whatsoever. If you can find 10 people who will pay for that offer, you can consider the idea initially validated. You can now get feedback, data, and insights, and then make an informed decision on the next steps.
The truth is you can validate most products using human interaction only — simply manual human effort.
When you have validated the problem and there’s a profitable pool of users that want the solution you’re providing, the time has come to release the actual product for more data. You could opt for custom development now — after all, you’ve validated the idea. But there’s also the no-code approach. You can launch the product as a no-code MVP that takes only days to release.
Your product has been on the market for several months now, and there are more user verticals in the ecosystem. Some users are more mature. They’re not freaky about the product but still use it. But they don’t have to — they can easily go over to the competition if you don’t innovate or meet their needs better than the competition would. This is where no-code development might not be enough.
While no-code is evolving rapidly, it still has limitations in a few areas that might be critical for your business.
This is when custom development comes into play. Custom lets companies personalize experiences for users and add integrations and features that aren’t yet covered by no-code platforms.
In other words, as the product grows the need for custom development increases. Of course, it all depends on the product, and some apps can be operating on a no-code platform for their whole lifecycle.