The Hard Truth About MVP and Agile

AgileMVP

How can you combine LEAN Startup, the creation of an MVP, Agile development and an all changing environment around you?
The hard truth is that you may setup the best plan in the world on how to work, but as a startup, anything may break it. It could be our own human nature or a major change in the startup life. As a startup you are not prepared for everything or be that agile.

If you want a more “textier” version of my presentation check this


George Psistakis

I love technology and working with people. That is why I am trying to offer as much as I can at the local startup ecosystem and at the same time building Apirise. We are developing a platform to reduce time and effort required to integrate and maintain APIs. Simply, fast and efficiently!
I am co-organizer of the Agile Greece and API Athens meetups and I contribute at the Developer Economics Blog.


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I’d love to know your ideas and thoughts on this post.
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Agile tools for the Samurai Coder

agiletools

Bellow is my recent post at Developer Economics.

The post is not meant to help you understand agile methodologies. A simple Google search will be enough to reveal tons of posts presenting, explaining, analyzing and suggesting how to make agile methodologies work to your advantage. And we have to keep in mind that they all usually apply to teams of 3 or more people. This post is about the freelance developer who just needs a simple way to manage tasks and projects. I do not claim that I present the absolute and irrefutable Truth; every person has their own way of working. This post simply intents to be a starting point to another way of doing things.

Meet Sally. Sally is a developer, a Samurai Coder, a hero of the day and she absolutely loves writing code. She works as a freelancer and the other day she got a new project from a customer.

Before starting work, she picks up a piece of paper. She writes down the day’s tasks (to-do’s, appointments, ideas etc) and crosses off the completed ones. She repeats the same process every day. These sheets of paper pile up and follow her everywhere… until she finds Evernote. Evernote replaces the paper and uploads her notes to the cloud, but still…. The notes multiply just as much and just as quickly as the papers do. They only stop creating piles on her desk.

Sally is desperately in need of solution – a way to capture and track her customer’s numerous requests as well as the 100+ things she has to do. What about a bit of agility and organization? How about combining simple methods and tools to get things done? Sally gave it a thought and found out the 5 most important things to her:

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Startups, Agile and MVP

startups

My recent post in the Apirise blog:


 

A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.
– Steve Blank

A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about:

What its product is.
Who its customers are.
How to make money.
As soon as it figures out all 3 things, it ceases being a startup and becomes a real business.
– Dave McClure

Regardless of the definition of a Startup that you may choose or you adhere to, one thing is common… Speed.
A startup (among others) runs a race with time to reach growth before the cash runs dry. Software development in a startup is equally influenced as a result. Speed to finish the current software development cycle. Focus on specific features and tasks. Fix what needs to be fixed.
Us, as a startup, have to work in such an environment. Some time ago I made a post with the “8 reasons that made us change from Trello to Targetprocess 3“. Today we will discuss how we actually work and a Hard Truth in the end…

A “Scrum-ish” Apirise.
When we started developing our product we wanted to adopt an agile methodology. We are 3 co-founders and we didn’t want to cause overhead in our work towards the product. As such, we do not use any specific method per se. I would describe it as “Scrum-ish”. We combine Scrum and Kanban principles inspired by talks and books of Henrik Kniberg.

In that spirit we use user stories, sprint planning, backlog, retrospectives and we have a Kanban board…

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How to setup availability sets on Windows Azure and deploy an MVP that will be….available….

Originally posted on cpard's Blog:

A few weeks ago we wrote a post about “How to launch your MVP in a budget with BizSpark” at the Apirise blog. The post briefly explains how someone can build an early MVP with BizSpark and Azure without binding to the Microsoft technologies stack! This post is a sequel of the original post but a bit more technical this time.

What we’ll try to do in this post, is to demonstrate how we can deal with the “availability” of our application (or MVP in the current context) when we build it on a cloud platform like Azure. For this reason we’ll discuss concepts like the “Availability Sets” of the Azure cloud platform and what technologies we can use in order to utilize the availability that the cloud service offers to us. We’ll mess a bit with replication but having the availability in mind and not the scalability of…

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Launching API Meetup in Athens

Two months ago, as Apirise, we attended APIdays in Berlin. APIdays is a conference held in cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. The range of topics covered is really wide and include almost everything about APIs. In APIdays you may meet with vendors, developers, companies like Apigee, Facebook, Heroku, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce, Soundcloud, Stripe, Twitter, Zappier and people like Kin Lane or Mike Amundsen to mention only a few… you got the idea.

There is a big trend of API awareness and creating thriving communities that is being supplemented by regional efforts like the NordicAPIs. This creates a parallel networking effect that works in the background. For example, we met with people from Greece that we didn’t know before, but they participated in APIdays Barcelona or older APIdays conferences.

We spoke with them and we saw that there is common ground and will to create a similar community in Greece.

For this reason we created the API Athens Meetup. We start small and expect to «hear» the vibe of the local community. We want to make it a place where we all learn, exchange real life experience, have conversations with startups, companies and developers and hear the challenges they face in getting the word out about APIs in their context of work.

On June 25th we had our kickoff meetup.

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#AgileCrete Uncoference

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Crete

An island that has almost everything. We know Crete for many things:
  1. people
  2. scenery
  3. hospitality
  4. weather
  5. food

and much more….

The least expected thing though is that this September the #AgileCrete Unconference takes place in Chania.
What does this mean for anyone going?

Combine your pation for Agile with the Cretan way of life

You are more than welcome to register and join:
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Discuss with me…

I’d love to know your ideas and thoughts on this post.
Connect with me on Twitter or Google+

How to build an MVP on a budget with BizSpark

apiriseBuilding a startup is never easy! One of the key factors of success is cost reduction – run the business with minimal or even no budget at all, at least in the beginning. How? By taking advantage of opportunities wherever you find them.
Apirise begun just like any other startup business – an idea.

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