Many have heard of Bram Kanstein whose previous ventures include starting a trend of stash sites. Bram has been working on NoCodeMVP since 2018 and launched it in December 2019. Spending time at home contemplating business ventures as a non-technical entrepreneur brought me the motivation to check out a solid looking course on the subject.
Lean as an attitude:
I was pleasantly surprised to begin the course with an introduction section of several videos setting the stage on having the right mindset to do lean startup. This is the “MVP” part of the course in that Bram guided us through the attitude to go business first on the project. Many of us have the tendency to focus on the building process of the projects, coming up with solutions, etc. While that’s fine for a hobby project, if we want a business angle for our projects then it’s crucial that we start with the customer side of the table.
The first few sections went through this, taking care to define good experimental format to work through customer interviews, and not to take people’s words too seriously (SECRET: EVERYBODY LIES). To ask Mom-test approved questions and rank the channels that we find.
To sum up, Lean approach to startups should be thought off as an operating system for aspiring entrepreneurs to envision their projects as more of a never-ending series of experiments. What are we testing? What does the results tell us?
Doing your work:
With that, there’s a good amount of coursework to guide us in working our business ideas. This is great as it keeps us on track and not lost with the many questions required to be generated and tested. In the process of doing the work we can be develop different angles to view the situation. An example of the coursework is the recently released MVP Experiment Canvas which is developed by Bram himself gives a taste of this.
Of course, the review won’t be complete without going through the No-Code part. In which we’ll primarily be building websites with Carrd and connecting many tools with it such as Airtable, Zapier, and many more. After a lesson for each of the tools, there are 6 MVP Building Guides that walk through building simple good solid MVPs (the key to MVP is that they are more minimal than we imagine). Homeworth Direct is an online home valuation calculator MVP that's featured a lot in the course. You can check it here: https://homeworthdirect.com
Many extras are included in the course, such as MVP interview, HUGE reading list, product naming guide, and especially important is ~$1000 worth of software deals. Really, not counting the great framework that we’ll be using to work on our projects, the course gets profit in software deals. We’re getting $500 free credit for Airtable alone, and I LOVE AIRTABLE. Ok, now that is off my chest. Let’s continue.
Bram will be adding more content to the course and alumni like us would continue to benefit from them when they come out. As of now there’s already so much we can do with the course as budding founders that we don’t need to worry we’ll outgrow it any time soon.
With the knowledge from the course, I’ve built and failed to find validation for several MVPs already. This is natural, Bram even mentioned it in the course. MVPs are not meant to succeed on first try. They’re there to teach us about our propositions and the market. They’re not the 1st version of products.
This course made me realised that as responsible founders there’s much more to starting projects than building out our ideas. Showing nuances in the definition of MVP and the framework of Lean Startups. Confronted with the truth of discounting solution ideas for customer realities, I have set out to learn and study sales and marketing. This is to understand people, and serving them better is the most sustainable business idea of all.