Years ago I had a startup which failed because of two reasons. One was legal because the idea was to automate something up to a point where it becomes illegal in my part of the world because of prehistoric laws.
Sure, we could've pivoted, but there comes issue number two - we had no idea how to slim down the development to something which could be considered an MVP, so we went into an adventure of building a "proper" piece of software.
Years later, some of my clients are startups with proper funding, but I'm also mentoring some which are in their early days. And what I see is that almost everyone has a problem building an MVP.
Most of them spend too much time building too complex but patched up, software solutions that end up looking like s... which results in low adoption of users, especially when they want to build mobile apps.
On one hand development prices are through the roof today, and on the other hand, users are saturated with products so startups don't only have a tougher job of reaching the customer, but they also have less time to build and prove an MVP than 5-10 years ago.
There is an up point for them - they can allow themselves to build greenfield products without having to worry about any legacy systems compatibility.
Which means that they can leverage two fancy systems that are actually really useful and stable in 2019.
Queue in chatbots and serverless.
What chatbots can do for you is cut down the development time compared to building a mobile app, and improve your user adoption rates because all of a sudden the users now already have the app on their phones which is needed to use your product.
Serverless, known for their ability not only to scale massively but also to scale down to zero, allows startups to build scalable and distributed systems without much knowledge while keeping the cost down until they start having some heavy traffic.
After trying it on a few projects, it worked like a charm, but there are still some caveats so here comes a tale that might be much more than a fairy tale.