I have a friend who is working as a Principle Developer. He has a fun job responsibility to work with the normally helps start-ups to boot up and when they are done he moves to the next start-up. He has mentored many start-ups and helped them in terms of technology and processes. I had the curiosity to ask him about the famous questions that we normally have in our minds. So I asked him some questions and this was his reply.
Q- What development process is followed by most startups
Most of the start-ups follow extreme programming. The reason is that they have a limited amount of amount to practice mature organizational processes. That does a lot of pair programming and relies heavily on TDD. One of the most important things that they do is they do pair rotation on a single story which is a must.
Q- How is the risk planned
There is a process of risk estimation in which we identify and migrate as early. If this process is not followed then they proceed anyway by considering risk as a known factor.
Q- How to they scope the prototype and is it always successful
The scoping of the prototype is based on the pain and gains of the user. We try to focus on the most important need/problem solvers. The prototype is always successful (not in terms of its adaption) as we gain knowledge on what user requires and want from the prototype and what are the next changes that can be foreseen. It’s more of the mindset thing.
Q- How careful do they select the technology
For a prototype, the aim is always to fail fast, recover fast. So, we choose the technology that serves this need in the quickest possible way. But we always apply best software practices while development so that prototype can be extended to a production-ready environment with no additional effort
Q- Do they estimate-foresee the technology cost
To some degree, yes. As I mentioned before, everything starts with the prototype to understand the learnings and the technology can be switched afterward to some extent as well.
Q- How often are the successful
If we are talking about adoption, then I would say out of every 3, 2 would be failing. But in other situations its really hard to figure it out.
Q- What is the most common mistake that the Start-up make
There are many and they are not seasonal but some of the most common ones that could be highlighted are
- Not doing enough user research and understanding the pains and needs of the customer.
- Starting with a solution without validating assumptions
Q- How is the quality of the end product
Its almost always production ready material as we are doing rapid prototyping development so the ultimate aim is to deliver production ready material
Q- How well are they aware of the business
They invest a lot of effort into understanding it. It’s a bit hard to measure this but I estimate that 8 out of 10 have strong market research and know the business.
Q- What are the channels where they prove their business ideas
I would say that depends on the idea. Some ideas can be pre validated using social media to figure out the interests of the users or businesses. You can also do ‘pre-sale’ and sell out a feature that is not development. This normally guarantees good business. In some cases, the Business idea is proven with the help of a prototype and then it is circulated to customers to be validated.
Q- How is a successful relationship linked with pitching
Pitching is more towards showing the capability to be able to achieve something while giving benefits to stakeholders/investors as well. As long as the benefit is clear, the pitch is almost always successful.