Silver Bullet – The Problem

We’re working on a very interesting scheduling application MVP which was initially focused on one of the B2C industry. As we began the work, our customer asked us to build the system so generic that it can scale to any industry.

Now this would make complete sense to anyone and you would think that it would be the right architecture to go for. However, we proposed to our customer otherwise.

We told the customer that they are aiming at a silver bullet and that can lead to a certain death for their startup. We highlighted below problems for them:

BRAND MESSAGING

Every industry has a message that resonates rightly with them. If you attempt to build a generic system, your messaging will have to be generic too. This will not strike the right chord with the customers. They won’t consider employing the system.

REDUCE COST OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING

For each new vertical you add, you double your marketing efforts. For each new industry, you have to market to the right players with the right message. This is a problem. It does not let you focus as an entrepreneur on selling. With every failure, it would solidify your thinking that this is not the right market.

LET’S STOP THE WORK AND VALIDATE THE MARKET FURTHER

We recommended that we do not build the MVP as they are not confident and believe they will be able to sell this to that particular industry. Let’s go ahead and figure out how could we take the product, without being built, to customers and try to sell it to them. Only then should we build the product?

We do not mind refunding the token you’ve given, but we need to make sure you build it for the right reasons.

THE OUTCOME

Our customer did not stop the work and now are more confident that they can take this product and sell. However, they still want to build the application as generic as possible. We’ve promised them we will build the core of it generically, but it won’t ever be a silver bullet with a silver switch to allow you to switch the industries. We wish we could pursue them to sell before they build, but we’ve to go by their gut this time as they are the core entrepreneurs and we will have to trust their judgement.

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