July 4th 2015

Audio Comments on Dance It Yourself

This is my second MVP lesson post. The first one is Mentors, Not Judges.

That was an example of using the MVP approach to learn something from users.

This one is more to illustrate how MVP's flexibility can be really important.

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Let me catch you up a little bit to start.

Dance It Yourself is now out of beta. We decided to forget the beta phase and really go for it. That was inspired by an episode of This Week in Startups.

Our beta period revealed a few bugs, and it was definitely appreciated, but we didn't need to stay in beta any longer.

At this point, the interface for the dancers is good. It's fast, clear and simple. It doesn't break (anymore).

The interface for the mentors is solid, too, but it could use some love. Specifically, I've been thinking that it's really important to create more of a mentor marketplace model.

One day Allison told me that we should prioritize audio comments for mentors.

I did not agree with that. Audio comments seemed very not-miminum-viable to me.

That shows how important our partnership is and why this business will succeed.

She explained to me that teachers and choreographers speak critique over live dance all the time. She said it's a dream to pause that live dance and finish explaining.

She said that this feature would make mentors love using the product.

We shifted focus and in a few days, mentors will be able to leave audio comments or typed comments.

I'm kind of blown away. The feature makes so much sense for the mentors, and it gives the product some real character.

The next update after this one will put the audio comments into the video. Dancers can watch the video, and it will pause for the comment and resume when it's over. (Right now, they just pause themselves and listen.)

In the end, we wanted to make the product more attractive for the mentors. That was the goal.

The MVP model allowed us to shift quickly, but ultimately, we did what was necessary to achieve that goal so we can move on to the next goal.