As a startup founder, you might think that building an app, whether it’s for the web or mobile, is the only way to validate your business idea. However, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, using messenger apps like WhatsApp or Telegram can be a great way to test the waters and validate your concept with minimal resources.
In most cases, startup founders don’t need to build apps (web nor mobile) to validate their ideas. For a minimum viable product (MVP), it’s good enough to “fake it till you make it” with a manual service by a human over a messenger. This is because even non-MVPs use it.
I’ve ordered cakes, cigars, flowers, meat, taxi, nanny, cleaning and many other products and services over WhatsApp. I’ve paid in my banking apps, after I got the payment info via WhatsApp. I’ve scheduled personal trainers, car services and others via WhatsApp and then paid cash.
In fact, there are already many industry use cases where messenger apps are being used to provide products and services. If you think about it, Uber, Rappi and Instacart often rely on messages to confirm destination or replacements of grocery products. The core of their app is catalog and messaging which can be done in WhatsApp or Telegram. Catalog can be done for the MVP with a PDF or just images sent over the messenger.
Let’s say your MVP is not an e-commerce where clients pick a product form a catalog and make an order. It’s something more complicated. Then you do the complex thing manually by a human and get results via messenger.
In the end, don’t waste time and money on building web or mobile apps. Just validate and make sales with WhatsApp or Telegram first. 💡🚀