We interviewed BlueChilli’s Product Specialists, who have collectively built more than 100 Startups; Nikita, Tony and Shane, to discuss the challenges of Startup Product Management and Beta Testing.
How do you align a startup founder’s vision and product management?
Tony – “It is a big part of the job to balance that grand vision of the founder with what’s actually possible and feasible.”
“The truth is that you’re not going to get to the end point with your first version of the product and so it’s more a journey of what’s possible right now. What is it that we do now with what we’ve got and finding that balance between innovating and creating innovative new technology. There’s a big balance between both of those things and they need to be managed amongst the founder and the team.”
What is the goal of beta testing?
Nikita – “The end goal [of beta testing] is to create a product that has a great user experience that your users love and are happy to tell their friends about. Why bug testing is so critical to that is, we need as many people as possible testing the app to ensure that there isn’t any show stopper or huge ‘bugs’ that are hampering the user experience or preventing a user from doing something very basic.”
“A bug is a failure in the code that results in an undesired side effect. “ – Shane
How do you deal with ‘bugs’ in the product?
Nikita – “There are three types of ‘bugs’ you can find and this is how we prioritise them into high, medium and low.”
- Important ‘bugs’ would stop the team from logging to a system, which would make it impossible for the user to use the product
- Medium ‘bugs’ could for example be something related to the user experience such as the design of a button being too small
- A Minor ‘bug’ could be something like a text box is 1 millimeter thicker than it should be. Something like that we potentially wouldn’t fix because it’s really minor
Shane – “If you don’t find 10 bugs when you’re testing a product, you’re doing something wrong. Bugs are unfortunately like an expected part of software development. When you find them it’s kind of great, because it means that the user hasn’t found it and you can fix it before someone else experiences that problem.”
Why is bug/product testing so important?
Tony – “Pretty much anything and everything can happen if you don’t test a tech product for bugs, Bug testing is really important. All software has bugs, even the most used software. As a product team, we want to make sure that the product can be used by the customer.”
“The product is one of the main components of the business so beta testing is really important.” Shane
Nikita – “To add to that, we also think it’s super critical for the founder to jump in and do beta testing alongside with the product team and the developers. The reason for that is that they’re the experts of their product and what they’re trying to achieve. But also ‘eating your own dog food’ and familiarising yourself with your own product helps you with what the product is and how it works. So if you were to put a demo in front of some key customers you would know the ins and outs of your product and really know how it works.”
What is the biggest challenge working with non-technical startup founders?
Nikita – “If you’re new to startups and new to tech, there can be so much lingo and ‘tech-talk’ that the founder might sit in a meeting with no idea what’s been said. I think by communicating really clearly on both ends, is really important. If for some reason the team is not on the same page, it should be flagged very early on.”
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