When Leangap says eff it ship it, they mean it.
We jumped into Minimum Viable Product (MVP) week ready to conquer. Our startup is a food personalization and delivery service. This meant we needed to show the viability of all four aspects of our start-up; the quiz and its accuracy, the development of a meal plan, acquisition of ingredients, and the delivery to the customer. The AcuMeal team was on a time-sensitive mission because in three hours we would need to present our MVP.
Before we could do start, we needed to find a customer to test out our MVP on and be good enough that they would be willing to buy our product. In this case, we were looking for a vegan who lived close enough to campus, given the time crunch. We got shut down a couple of times but not being afraid of the ‘no’ pushed us forward and we were able to find Ms. Soni who said: “Okay, let’s do it!”
We began by choosing to divide and conquer the task at hand. Our team split up into teams. Andre, Shua and Matthew went to Trader Joe’s and bought groceries while consulting our nutritionists, Yu, Alec and I stayed behind to work on a quiz survey. Matthew then had the job of delivering the groceries to her doorstep while the rest of us prepared to present our prototype, branding, and business model to the Leangap board of mentors.
Our resident driver, Eddy, drove half the team to Trader Joe’s to buy the groceries. The clock was ticking, a countdown was set. They only had 10 minutes to go into the store, acquire all the ingredients, check out and get back into the Maserati. First, they had to figure out what meal they would be giving her and what ingredients would be required. Using her answers from the quiz and guidance from a backed nutritionist, they were able to come up with a citrus quinoa avocado spinach salad that suited her preference for sour foods and her love for avocados. They quickly split up, dashed up and down the isles and managed to get all the ingredients and check out under 10 minutes.
The Cal Train, The Bart or Eddy’s Maserati? How was Matthew going to get these groceries to Ms. Soni’s house all the way in Palo Alto and be back in time to present our MVP in 2 hours? Eddy Zhong had other engagements and wouldn’t be able to drive us all the way to Palo Alto. There wasn’t enough time to catch the soonest train to Palo Alto and waiting for another would take too long. But because we were committed to making this cause happen, the team drove back to campus and Matthew got into an Uber to Palo Alto.
Matthew was successfully able to deliver the groceries to Ms. Sonis address. He video recorded the whole delivery process and the feedback that she gave us concerning her user experience. From this, we earned $10 and that was a huge win for us. He was able to return just in time to present his experience. For this, we were congratulated on fully understanding the essence of M.V.P week.
Everything Leangap taught us in class, from the truth about getting rejected a few times to the joy of making a sale, we had the opportunity to experience it for ourselves and realize that they don’t just teach us stories but the real truth.
Written by: Christie Weche from The AcuMeal Team