Being open to feedback, setting new priorities

As someone who is experienced in tech, but not as much in business, it was interesting to see how many different opinions you can get about your business idea by talking to other founders, investors and business advisors. Just as some programmers may be very religious about using Ruby on Rails, or Python/Django vs. any other technology, many business people seem to be religious about one specific way of doing or growing a business.

So while not all feedback is useful, and while it’s not always clear what is the Right Way To Do It ™, we felt we have to take all of it as serious as possible, and get answers to all the questions people were asking us. And this was an extremely valuable thing to do.

Last week we went to Berlin, and were lucky to get incredibly high-level feedback from a wide range of talented people in the field. It seems that in the course of developing our product, we accumulated an immense amount of ideas and features that could be very important for our community market place in the long run. But the huge amount of features also meant we would need a lot of time to get validation from the market.

Talking with all those people helped us focus again. We need to go back and validate the main value for our customers and getting feedback from them right now. All those cool features have to wait until later. So we will start putting online the very first travel guides soon, and getting feedback as early as possible. 

May the force be with us.

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Up and running in 3 days

At the Startup Live Vienna 8 we wanted to get our launch page online in just three days, and that was quite a challenge. A room full of people and a lot of distractions can make it hard to be productive. But then there is the exciting atmosphere and the people staying and working till late in the evening!

I didn’t bring my own laptop for development, and so I had to borrow the MacBook from Biancaco-founder and product designer here at miavia. Only at the event I realized that this was a crazy idea – having a mostly Windows/Linux background, I never worked on a Mac before, and was quite slow to get started with the most basic technical stuff (git, SCP, etc.). Fortunately, we had a great team at the event, I got help to get everything up and running on the Mac – many thanks go to Luis Nell! 😉 Also, we had great support from Stefan Raffeiner, who was quick to implement the HTML and CSS.

So we managed to do it! And this is what we used:

  • We hosted our git repository on dropbox – everyone shouting loud and clear when they would make a commit, so we don’t get a dropbox conflict, hehe
  • The Play Framework has a local development mode, so we could quickly check our changes on a local web server.
  • Stefan worked mostly on the page styles, Luis worked out how to make beautiful cross-device HTML emails, and supported me on the Mac 😀
  • I used the IntelliJ Idea IDE for Scala/CSS/HTML etc., and from time to time checking how the page looks like in Internet Explorer on my netbook

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From left to right: Stefan, me and Luis. This is going to be a rare picture: me working on a Mac!

Thanks to everyone on our team at Startup Live, what a weekend!

Btw, here is our launch page:

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Check it out at http://miavia.in !

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