Learn Lean

How early technical advice saves founders time and money


Founders get started with a big idea. They see an opportunity and act on it, when others don’t. This entrepreneurial ambition is brave and amazing. But sometimes that big idea can make it hard to start small and build strategically.


That’s why it’s useful when building that first MVP to get some technical advice early in the process.


Jesse Shewfelt, a Software Developer on Thin Air Labs’ Product Traction team, says getting developers in on a project early helps save founders time and money, and results in a better product.


“Founders can come to us with an idea and they may not know what their competitors have done, or what they might be missing in their design that we might be able to do differently,” says Jesse. “Suggestions like that can be really valuable and hard to capture without that early development perspective.”


And if you can add Product Managers, Marketers and Designers to the mix, that initial MVP will be that much more successful connecting to customers, helping the founder and team understand what to build next.


"We don't want to build everything all at once. We want to build lean, and iteratively improve the product based on customer feedback.” --- Minkyo Kim, Software Developer

This multidisciplinary approach is a huge advantage for founders, explains Minkyo (MK) Kim, a Developer also on the Thin Air Labs Product Traction team.


“For example, we worked with a founder who wanted to build an NFT marketplace. While the Product team worked on the customer interviews and marketing scopes, the developers worked on the technical aspects of the product, and our main focus was to find the best solution, the best way to build,” says MK. “Should we take advantage of existing tools, or should we build from scratch? And the results of those technical spikes, helped the founder and Product team scope out and decide what features could be implemented during each MVP development phase.”


Having a robust Product team working together, saves the founder valuable time and money because they’re not building unnecessary features or capabilities. Building and learning lean also allows for the MVP to get into market faster, so founders can test their assumptions sooner.


“We really empathize with founders. We know we’re building their big dream." --- Jesse Shewfelt, Software Developer

“For founders, funding is limited so building lean is the best way to get a product on the market and get it validated by customers as soon as possible,” says MK. “This is really important because feedback from the customers is vital to the next iteration of MVP development. We don't want to build everything all at once. We want to build lean, and iteratively improve the product based on customer feedback.”


Working this way isn’t about quashing the founder’s big idea, it’s about building up to that big idea.


“We really empathize with founders. We know we’re building their big dream. It’s a responsibility we take seriously,” says Jesse.


And ensuring that dream becomes a reality requires all kinds of expertise. It’s why a multidisciplinary team of product professionals working together from the start can turn that founder’s big idea into the next big thing.