The number one cause of startup failure is “no market need”, according to CB Insights. Often, a team spends valuable time, effort and money building a minimum viable product (MVP) that is so polished before it is even shown to prospective users. They release it and find that incorrect assumptions were made about what they think people want.
This is an outline of Haystack, a side project by Jeremy (Developer) and I (Product Designer), and how we tested our riskiest assumptions by putting our product in front of real users as quickly as possible. The app idea initially stemmed from Jeremy’s aim of gamifying the online dating experience and he began building an early prototype before we met. In a perfect world, we would have worked together before Jeremy started making the app. However, in the span of around three months (outside of work hours), we made a few paper prototypes, spoke with a few people… and threw in the towel, successfully invalidating our app idea.