Mock Startup

> 2023-02-08

Startups combine grand visions with lean resources which require functional mocks to be introduced in order to build the project.

Here the term “mock” is taken from software development where they are used in testing environments to provided simulated responses and avoid using production resources. For example, mocking out a database call may involve having the invoked function return fixed data so that a real database is not needed in the course of the test.

These mocks can be conceptually applied to three major startup areas.

Minimum viable product (MVP)

MVPs expose the smallest possible surface area capturing real usage to test the product hypothesis with minimal resource outlay. Both software and hardware startups can mock most functionality with simple scripts, manual processes, or existing customer actions.

Startup Example
Cloud seeding Build software consolidating meteorological data to identify optimal seed targets and guide existing infrastructure accordingly
Aerospace assembly Build software optimizing assembly instructions while keeping existing parts sourcing and construction with customers

Minimum viable customer (MVC)

MVCs establish the slightest relationship with the startup capable of generating value. They fit a targeted, niche profile the startup can focus on and exchange information for serivces provided by the MVP.

Startup Example
Cloud seeding Water regulators and pilots divulging pain points and inefficiencies in order to use orchestration software
Aerospace assembly Drone manufacturer seeking increased assembly speed from optimized instructions offering design files as training data

Minimum viable investor (MVI)

MVIs provide resources to expand the project. Specific investors with appropriate networks help MVPs connect with MVCs without writing a check. The check should not be implemented until there is an absolute need for cash to scale or implement product mocks.

Startup Example
Cloud seeding Provides chemical experts and university connections for testing compounds
Aerospace assembly Introduces to portfolio drone companies benefiting from increased manufacturing throughput

Treating every resource from a minimum viable standpoint encourages efficient utilization.

Startups move quickly and deliver things.

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