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Do you think it would help the community if I open sourced some MVP product & architecture designs?

Maybe I just haven't come across it but it seems to me that most resources are focused on teaching people how to be developers. There's a big knowledge gap between learning how to write code and how to design a software product.

In the past few years, I've seen three startups fail due to architectural problems with their MVP. Even though they validated the product thesis, their software failed (due to systemic design flaws) and they didn't have the budget or time to rebuild it. If they had a proper cross functional team in place from the beginning this wouldn't be an issue, but most startups can't afford to do that.

I have some MVP designs for product concepts that failed to validate. It shows the complexity of building "simple" mvps and just how much effort has to go in to making a product that can be iterated, maintained and scaled. I'm wondering if it will help to open source and release these designs, so others can learn from them.

Any thoughts on this are welcome.. =)

Product Design & Architecture:

Project Management
Agile - Epics & Stories
Kanban Backlog
Tasks & prioritization
Discussions
Documentation

Infrastructure
Cloud
High availability
Disaster recovery
Security
Network
Monitoring - Instances, Application Performance, Availability (national, international), Response time, Latency, etc.
Auto scaling
DNS
Naming Conventions
Resource Management - Cost Optimization

Software
Process Design
ETL (Extract Transform Load)
Data Integrations
Business Logic
Data Enrichment
Services architecture
Middleware
API Design
Distributed Architecture
Modules/libraries/SDKs
Microservices

Security
Authorization
Native
oAuth
User/groups permissions
Service segmentation & isolation
Constancy checks & fail safes
Logging
Reporting & Alerts

Data
Database Architecture
Database type(s); Document, Transactional, Search, Graph, Data Warehouse, etc.
Scheme(s) & Document Structures
Security
Consistency & Data protection
Performance Optimization

Presentation
User Experience
Information Architecture
Process Management
User Feedback Loops
Information Communication
Account Management
Graphic User Interface
Navigation
Discovery
Suggestions & Recommendations
Dashboards
Graphs
Lists
Insights
Communications

User engagement
Documentation
Bug reports
Questions & Answers
Chat

19 Replies

Ananth Agasthya
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Ananth Agasthya Entrepreneur
Principal Facilitator at ILIFESigmoid
What I would suggest is that they should be given some basics of System Engineering and Failure Mode and effects analysis. It would be advisable to get an independent audit group to verify and validate the whole design process. Incidentally, a strong backup for recouping from a failure should be included. Selection of suppliers is a key to scaling up. These are my first off thoughts. Thanks for raising a valuable issue to the forum. Regards Anantha Agasthya Sent from my iPad
Dustin Williams
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Dustin Williams Advisor
Business Systems, Software Development, Information Technology
@Anath:I agree most tech startups don't understand the fundamentals of (business) systems design. I was thinking about writing some articles on the subject. Cost benefit & risk analysis is probably where I'd start on that.

Therese Jilek
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Therese Jilek Entrepreneur
Director of Technology at HYDE PARK DAY SCHOOL/Founder of Sotto Sopra
I think it would help. I'm trying to enter this field and it would be beneficial to have talking points as a reference for when I'm speaking with designers and developers. It seems like the MVP is a critical point and that's the stage I'm in.
Bob Graham
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Bob Graham Entrepreneur
Engineering and Software
Hey Dustin,

Interesting idea. I like it!
I taught myself software engineering and just released a startup that I coded, so I know what you are talking about with many of these problems and the lack of resources around them online. I had to consult my friends that are advanced engineers on many of these topics.

I could have used someone like you to show me more than a basic tutorial project and show me how to build a startup.

Having said that, I would have most likely not watched something or read something like what you just laid out. It's far too complex and detailed.

What I think is missing is something like Mackenzie Child's videos, but it's a screencast on how to build a startup. It comes with step by step explanations in plain english. Or like railscasts but for a startup where you finish a project from start to finish.

As I was teaching myself to code, the biggest problem I found was not a lack of resources, but a lack of good teaching. Good teaching to me simplifies complex processes. I used to teach guitar when I was younger and it took me much longer to think of how to explain something complex in a simple way, rather than to just say the information to the student.

I think if you can do that, then you are onto something. But at first glance it needs a bit more simplifying down and maybe there are some things you can strip off too.
Dustin Williams
0
0
Dustin Williams Advisor
Business Systems, Software Development, Information Technology
@Therese
I'd suggest working with an experienced Product Manager first. A good product manager will be able to help you determine if there really is a market opportunity for your product idea, identify the core value proposition, size the market and communicate the product strategy to theProduct Designer. The product designer will then direct the development & the UX/UI teams.

@Bob
I think this would be better suited for junior-intermediate developers who are trying to learn how to be a product designer/architect. For non-engineers; I think it would demonstrate why software development is so complicated and expensive.

In musician terms; this would be for musician who knows how to write songs, record, engineer and produce in their home studio but wants to learn how to be a producer at Electric Lady Studios. :)


Bob Graham
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Bob Graham Entrepreneur
Engineering and Software
Hey Dustin,

Most advanced guys I know already know how to do all of that stuff.
In my opinion the gap you are trying to bridge is the gap between beginner and advanced.

If you believe it is a good idea, then go for it absolutely. I still really hold to the feedback I gave you. My CTO wouldn't sign up for a course like this (he's really advanced). I've been coding for 2.5 years and I would, but not how you have it. Maybe I am the wrong demographic :)

If the point of the course is to demonstrate why software dev is complicated and expensive, I can tell you that the course needs to be even simpler than I said originally.

Dustin Williams
0
0
Dustin Williams Advisor
Business Systems, Software Development, Information Technology
For instance this business logic covers a lot of the topics listed above. On the Kanban side it probably break down in to about 10-20 tasks.

Dustin Williams
0
0
Dustin Williams Advisor
Business Systems, Software Development, Information Technology
@Bob
Let me clarify this wouldn't be a course. This would be me open sourcing the requirements, product/architectural design documents & tasks list.

This would something to help someone who is looking to move beyond the intermediate stage to advanced. From my experience there isn't much support there and you have to figure it out yourself.
Bob Graham
0
0
Bob Graham Entrepreneur
Engineering and Software
Oh okay. In that case no I wouldn't use it or be interested in it.
My learning style is different and theres a lot in there I wouldn't want.
I consider myself intermediate, moving to advanced if that helps.
Don't want to be negative, just trying to share what I would want. Maybe I am not your demographic as I said.
Dustin Williams
0
0
Dustin Williams Advisor
Business Systems, Software Development, Information Technology
@bob
Hmm.. I'm not sure this would be useful for someone with less then 5 years of experience. Thanks for the feedback. :)
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