Magical Wand

We place such importance on building quick, crappy MVPs and constantly worrying about our moats and competitive advantages. People forget customers don’t care about all that. Investors care about all that.

People just want a magical wand to solve their problem. It could be a product built with tape and glue, people do not care about the technology behind it.

When starting an e-commerce store to build ZipX on, I started with an open source repo to build on top of. The team had a wonderful store with every feature you could need. Dozens of payment options. The ability to impersonate a customer and add to their cart. A really simple Django / HTML webpage.

I would have happily paid them to keep iterating on it. The team was full of engineers who had never run a real e-commerce site. As every new technology came out (React, GraphQL, etc) they completely rewrote everything they had with less features. Their repo was constantly broken and being rewritten. They kept chasing the next tech trend instead of working on features.

I looked at their repo from 2 years ago and just forked that.

At DEKA research, they were constantly reiterating this philosophy.

The company is built on ground breaking research. Stirling Engines using new form of energy, robotic arms for paraplegics, dialysis machines and water cleaning devices.

No matter how much innovation and research went into a product they made it clear.

Their customers would be just as happy buying a locked black box if it solved their problems.